Healthcare Decision Making 

Updated on November 17, 2022

The importance of making good healthcare decisions cannot be overestimated. However, most of them are probabilistic because it is impossible to predict the impact of medical interventions on each organism.

In this review, we will look at 3 classes of decisions:

  • Decisions are made by decision-makers at the state level.
  • Clinical decisions are made by physicians.
  • Collaborative decisions between patients and providers.

We’ll also discuss how digital innovations are helping to simplify the decision-making process in healthcare.

Public Health Decision Making – Key Directions and Challenges

The global consensus is that it is difficult to achieve good health outcomes without strengthening the healthcare system. Therefore, in 2007, the WHO (World Health Organization) proposed a “building block” framework which is now used in many countries as the basis for structuring strategic plans and reforms in health care. According to the WHO recommendations, the priority areas for improving the healthcare system are:

  • expansion of health services;
  • training and professional development of human resources;
  • development and access to health information systems;
  • work on health care financing mechanisms;
  • pharmaceutical reform.

In reforming the medical system, its leaders face many problems related to funding and the timing of implementation of innovations. In addition, they have to deal with disgruntled payers and medical workers, be responsive, and write numerous reports.

But the most difficult thing for national healthcare decision-makers is planning reforms and choosing priorities for reform, which often need to be revised. Wrong choices can not only disrupt implementation but also create new political risks. In addition, it can hurt the health of payers. 

Clinical decision-making and treatment planning

The primary goals of health care are:

  • the proper prevention of diseases;
  • their accurate diagnosis;
  • effective treatment.

The quality and efficiency of health care are largely influenced by decision-making, not only by practicing physicians, but also by those responsible for health care at the legislative level. In other words, all decisions in this area are interrelated, and in making clinical decisions, the physician must consider many variables, from the patient’s age and health status to current legislation.

As you can see, clinical decision-making is a complex process, and there is a significant amount of research devoted to understanding the best processes for making decisions that provide the best results in any given situation based on evidence and experience. The complexity of health care decision-making is also related to the collection of information, especially from medical devices such as X-rays, blood tests, and many others. This and many other clinical data are constantly changing and being supplemented over time until they become a wealth of data. 

Collaborative Medical Decision Making

Collaborative decision-making refers to the interaction process between a healthcare provider and a patient or relative, the purpose of which is to agree on a treatment or care procedure. It is the process by which the tests and examinations necessary for diagnosis and treatment procedures and care are agreed upon.

Collaborative decision-making has several positive consequences, among them a better quality of care for the patient and an overall improvement in his or her treatment outcomes. Other benefits include:

  • detailed information for the patient, which is a guarantee that he or she understands the advantages and disadvantages of different treatment options;
  • the patient’s conscious choice of one of the proposed treatment options or a complete refusal of medical care;
  • the patient can choose the best treatment according to the available budget, timing, frequency of procedures and lifestyle.

Among the challenges in the collaborative medical decision-making process, the patient’s awareness is at the top of the list. With basic medical knowledge, it’s easier to understand the nuances of a doctor’s options and determine which one is the best value for money.

Digital Products for Healthcare Decision Making

Today, healthcare economics consulting companies offer the development of software for PCs and mobile devices that can simulate the budgetary impact of a particular drug, calculate the optimal cost of a drug, estimate its cost-effectiveness and health impact, and so on. Such products help collect and consolidate the large amount of information needed to make a medical decision and provide the results in the form of simple infographics.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.