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BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making


Background: Implementing patient decision aids in clinic workflow has proven to be a challenge for healthcare organizations and physicians. Our aim was to determine the organizational strategies, motivations, and facilitating factors to the routine implementation of Option Grid™ encounter decision aids at two independent settings. Method: Case studies conducted by semi-structured interview, using the Normalization Process Theory (NPT) as a framework for thematic analysis. Twenty three interviews with physicians, nurses, hospital staff and stakeholderswere conducted at: 1) CapitalCare Medical Group in Albany, New York; 2) HealthPartners Clinics in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Results: ‘Coherent’ motivations were guided by financial incentives at CapitalCare, and by a ‘champion’ physician at HealthPartners. Nurses worked ‘collectively’at both settings and played an important role at sites where successful implementation occurred. Some physicians did not understand the perceived utility of Option Grid™, which led to varying degrees of implementation success across sites. The appraisal work (reflexive monitoring) identified benefits, particularly in terms of information provision. Physicians at both settings, however, were concerned with time pressures and the suitability of the tool for patients with low levels of health literacy. Conclusion: Although both practice settings illustrated the mechanisms of normalization postulated by the theory, the extent to which Option Grid™ was routinely embedded in clinic workflow varied between sites, and between clinicians. Implementation of new interventions will require attention to an identified rationale (coherence), and to the collective action, cognitive participation, and assessment of value by organizational members of the organization.