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This toolkit builds on three years of experience implementing decision aids to facilitate SDM into six rural primary care practices in Oregon. In 2009, ORPRN was one of 11 sites selected by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation (IMDF) to participate in their national primary care demonstration project.

ORPRN was tasked to work with diverse, non-academic, rural primary care practices to:

  1. Determine how to implement decision aids to facilitate SDM, and
  2. Develop a cadre of model implementation sites.

Between 2009 and 2012, our multidisciplinary project team, including clinician-researchers, social psychologists, medical informaticians, public health specialists, and social workers, has worked collaboratively with leadership from six clinics to implement decision aids in routine patient care. This toolkit distills lessons learned from the hands-on experience. It has been refined based on direct feedback from practicing clinicians and staff in rural primary care clinics.

Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN)

The Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN) was established in 2002 with the mission to improve the health of rural populations in Oregon through conducting and promoting health research in partnership with the communities and practitioners we serve.

ORPRN is a statewide network of primary care clinicians, community partners, and academicians dedicated to studying the delivery of health care to rural residents and conducting research to reduce rural health disparities. Our studies use implementation science and knowledge transfer methods to transform rural health care delivery. In 2010 the network membership included 161 clinicians and 49 primary care practices located in 37 rural communities throughout the state.

ORPRN is headquartered at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and has regional offices staffed by four Practice Enhancement Research Coordinators (PERCs).

Informed Medical Decisions Foundation

The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation (previously known as the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making) has been working for over two decades to advance evidence-based shared decision making through research, policy, clinical models and patient decision aids. It is a Boston-based organization with a network of medical editors and clinical advisors from some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world.

Their mission is to inform and amplify the patient’s voice in health care decisions. This means all patients should:

  • Be supported and encouraged to participate in their health care decisions.
  • Be fully informed about their care options using accurate, unbiased and understandable information.
  • Have their personal goals and concerns honored.

IMDF believes that the only way to ensure high quality medical decisions are made is for a fully informed patient to participate in a shared decision making process with his/her health care provider.

Clinic Partners
We partnered with six small primary care practices throughout rural Oregon during the four year demonstration project:

  • Pioneer Memorial Clinic, Heppner, Oregon
  • Samaritan Lincoln City Medical Center, Lincoln City, Oregon
  • Winding Waters Clinic, PC, Enterprise, Oregon
  • Bayshore Family Medicine, Pacific City, Oregon
  • St. Luke’s Eastern Oregon Medical Associates, Baker City, OR
  • PeaceHealth Medical Group, Cottage Grove, OR


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