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Decision Free Healthcare

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NOTE: This DF Method is in development. See also below.

Decision Free Healthcare is a method to make it transparent to patients they are offered the treatment best aligned with their personal aims. Without the need for decisions, and thus without the stress that comes with decision making.

Healthcare is often an acute life-saving service where “decision making” should be read as an expert caregiver making the best possible choices based on his/her expertise.

In less acute situations there may be several treatment options (including not treating at all). In the past the treating professional would assess which treatment to provide and the patient was merely a passive bystander. This situation is gradually changing.

One popular approach is “shared decision making”, where the patient is to make the choice together with the professional caregiver, usually after receiving a lot of information. As the patient is not a medical expert, the patient has only limited ways of being certain what the best treatment actually is. Shared decision making irresponsibly shifts responsibility towards the patient, which often causes the patient stress and without any guarantee the treatment path agreed upon is also the best one for the patient.

Decision Free Healthcare uses the following four step approach:

  • Define the patient’s desired outcome (e.g. functionality, quality of life, duration of healing process) within the patient’s context
  • The patient identifies the caregiver (if there are more) with the most relevant expertise (not the same as experience!) to achieve the desired outcome.
  • The identified caregiver clarifies to the patient how, using what treatment, the desired outcome is most likely to be achieved (clarification is only completed once the patient indicates everything is transparent to him/her).
  • Following clarification, with the approval of the patient, the treatment commences.

DF Healthcare lets the expert be an expert and the patient be patient. It ensures that it is transparent to the patient that the treatment is aimed at achieved the patient’s desired outcome.


Decision Free Solutions is currently developing this method and would like to get in contact with any part interested in:

  • Assistance with the formal formulation of the method, which focuses on interactions between caregivers and patients in those situations where there is a choice to be made (the method works towards the patient not having to choose but merely approve the treatment as proposed by the expert caregiver).
  • Running the method of DF Healthcare.
  • Compare the levels of stress and satisfaction (confidence) as experienced by the patients using DF Healthcare versus the different implementations of “shared decision making”.

Interested?

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Explaining the Fundamentals of Decision Free Solutions

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Understanding that decisions increase risk impacts all.

Decisions are unsubstantiated choices. Once you realise a decision may not contribute to achieving a goal you want to avoid them. The approach of DFS, using four steps and five principles, does so in a systematic way.

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The alternative to decision making is transparency.

Decisions are conclusions reached after consideration. When something needs to be considered it means it is not transparent. Create transparency and what follows are not decisions but approvals (e.g. Decision Free Management).

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That decisions increase risk is not semantics, it is logic.

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All explanations >
Understanding that decisions increase risk impacts all.

Decisions are conclusions or resolutions reached after consideration. When something needs to be considered it is not transparent. When a decision is made when something isn’t transparent risk increases. With every decision it becomes less likely the aim will be achieved. How do decisions manifest themselves, what types of decision making are there? How will the approach of Decision Free Solutions avoid them?

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That decisions increase risk is not semantics, it is logic.

That decisions increase risk follows from the dictionary definition and use of logic. Few experience decisions in this way, for various obvious reasons. Many unsubstantiated choices are made based on experience or are educated guesses. We get a lot of decisions right. When the risk does occur, usually much later, we often fail to make the link with the decision. What is more, making decisions often makes us feel good. But the risk is still for real.

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Everybody can manage risk, only few can minimise it.

In every organisation there are both identified and unidentified risks. Unidentified risks occur e.g. when aims are not clearly understood, when it is unclear whether the right expertise is available, or used appropriately. All of which results in decision making. To manage identified risks is straightforward, to minimise risk you must avoid decision making. Which is what an expert does. But what does it take to become an expert?

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Decision Free Birthing empowers expectant women.

Decision Free Solutions is a generic approach. It can be applied in any field. As a demonstration of this Decision Free Birthing has been developed. DF Birthing is a method to empower expectant women to get the birthing experience they want. For this to happen today’s prevalent practices need to be changed. For example, a woman should not write her own birth plan, an expert should. Until the woman fully understands and approves it. Decision Free Birthing has been put in practice too.

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The alternative to decision making is transparency.

Decisions are conclusions or resolutions reached after consideration (the Oxford dictionary definition of ‘decision’). When something needs to be considered it means it is not transparent. Create transparency and what follows are not decisions but ‘the logical next step’. When something is transparent you don’t have to think. Transparency allows decisions to be replaced by approvals.

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What if everyone, every organisation, will have his aim achieved? What if you are allowed to do what you excel at – as long as you can explain what you are going to do, and only have to tell them that all is going well, not having to share the details of what it is you are doing right now? What if expertise really matters –  always? What would politics be like? How if healthcare worked that way? Hard to imagine, but easy to start contributing to today. Let us explain how.

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