Peterson Center on Healthcare Announces New Initiative to Better Align Treatment with Patient Goals

Jan 30, 2019

Contact: Bryan Fisher

Partnership with Northwestern University Will Foster More Effective, Transparent, and Informed Decision-Making by Patients, Families, and Care Teams

NEW YORK (January 30, 2019) — The Peterson Center on Healthcare has launched a partnership with Northwestern University to empower patients by better aligning treatment decisions with patient goals. A $2.25 million grant from the Center to Northwestern will integrate the collection of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) with a shared decision-making (SDM) tool to facilitate more effective, transparent, and informed decision-making by patients, families, and care teams.

The initiative will focus on patients diagnosed with advanced cancer and chronic kidney disease, collecting patient-reported measures such as fatigue, pain, and emotional well-being, and integrating these measures into the list of considerations that patients and doctors can use to decide on a course of treatment.

“Quality healthcare begins with understanding what patients want and need,” said Jay Want, MD, Executive Director of the Peterson Center on Healthcare. “This grant will help ensure that patients, in consultation with their doctors and their families, are well-informed and empowered as they consider how their treatment preferences could impact their quality of life.”

David Cella, PhD, serves as principal investigator of the Northwestern University grant.

“We are delighted to partner with the Peterson Center on Healthcare to advance a patient-centered approach to treatment planning and delivery,” said Cella. “Truly excellent healthcare requires understanding not only the illness in the person, but the person with the illness.”

Over the three-year grant period, Northwestern University will develop electronic patient- and clinician-facing dashboards to support SDM, displaying data such as care plans, PROMs, and overall patient progress. In 2020, researchers will track the impact of the SDM model on patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes, in addition to evaluating system-level implementation. Ultimately, learning from this work will be packaged into toolkits and training materials for broad dissemination.

The grant reflects the Center’s interest in aligning care delivery with patient goals. Current measures of quality, which are often focused on process, can frequently fail to measure how patients are functioning physically, emotionally, and in activities of their daily life. Integrating PROMs into a SDM process helps ensure that outcomes that matter most to patients continually guide the care that is delivered, which can also reduce unnecessary treatment.

For more information about the Peterson Center on Healthcare, visit

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About the Peterson Center on Healthcare
The Peterson Center on Healthcare is a non-profit organization dedicated to making higher quality, more affordable healthcare a reality for all Americans. The organization is working to transform U.S. healthcare into a high-performance system by finding innovative solutions that improve quality and lower costs, and accelerating their adoption on a national scale. Established by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Center collaborates with stakeholders across the healthcare system and engages in grant-making, partnerships, and research.