ACP Decisions Receives Certification for 18 Patient Decision Aids from Washington State

ACP Decisions is pleased to announce that eighteen of its decision aids focused on end-of-life care have been certified by the Washington State Health Care Authority. ACP Decisions is one of only four organizations in the U.S. to receive certification within the end-of-life care category.

Washington is the first state to establish a formal process to review, certify and advocate the use of decision aids across the health continuum. As part of the “Healthier Washington” shared decision-making initiative, the state certifies tools that help people engage in health decisions with their health care providers and provide the information they need to make informed decisions.

The strict certification process ensures the consistency and quality of health information presented to patients and families. Guided by the work of the International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) Collaborative, the basic criteria aim to ensure an accurate and unbiased presentation of treatment options that are up-to-date and understandable. Each decision aid must address values and preferences of the individual and include documentation of user testing.

“Patients deserve to be able to make informed medical decisions that match their preferences,” said Angelo Volandes, MD MPH, Co-founder and President of ACP Decisions. “We appreciate that the Washington State HCA is taking the lead in developing a process to certify patient decision aids for use by clinicians and their patients. The Washington HCA’s work is ground-breaking and will be the new standard of care for the rest of the country.”

In addition to the eighteen decision aids certified by Washington State, ACP Decisions offers over 200 decision aids to support advance care planning, particularly during serious illness when people are the most vulnerable.

“Our mission is to empower patients and their families so that they can be at the center of, and in control of, their health and health care,” said Aretha Delight Davis, MD, JD, Co-founder and Executive Director of ACP Decisions. “We applaud Washington State in its quest to help people make medical decisions that are true to who they are and what matters most to them.”

For more information on Washington State’s “Healthier Washington” initiative, please visit

About ACP Decisions

ACP Decisions is a non-profit foundation based in Boston, MA whose mission is to empower patients to make informed medical decisions by engaging in shared decision making with their health care providers. ACP Decisions creates evidence-based video decision support tools that promote effective advance care planning and are easily accessible on a user-friendly technology platform. Currently, the video library consists of over 200 professionally crafted videos available in 17 different languages. To learn more, visit or follow the organization on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.


ACP Decisions
Aretha Delight Davis, MD JD


IOM Report Highlights Video Support Tools in EOL Discussions

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released a comprehensive report on care near the end of life in the United States entitled “Dying in America: Improving Quality & Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life.”  This report builds on the 1998 IOM report “Approaching Death: Improving Care at the End of Life.”

The report provides findings and recommendations on several items, including sharing decision-making.

In the section entitled “Shared Decision Making and Patient Centered Care” the IOM references several peer-reviewed publications of trials in various patient populations, from members of the general population over 40 to people with advanced cancer.

In these trials, all of which involved ACP Decisions Co-Founder Dr. Angelo Volandes, people, “across the board”, were comfortable with the decision aids and found them useful. In addition, participants who watched a video more frequently chose comfort-oriented care versus more intensive medical therapies.

A copy of the IOM report can be found here.

ACP Decisions featured in Atlantic Magazine

The May 2013 edition of The Atlantic just released a feature article (“How Not to Die”) by Jonathan Rauch about Dr. Volandes and ACP Decisions™’ “low-tech, high-empathy plan” to revolutionize end-of-life care.  The article not only tells the story behind the creation of ACP Decisions™ but also describes its videos as “inexpensive and low-tech,” highlighting that they might avert misunderstanding, prevent suffering, improve doctor-patient relationships, [and] incidentally, save the health-care system a lot of money.”

The recently released article can be found at

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