Societies Stress Shared Decision Making in Updated Lipids Performance Measures

Contact: Rachel Cagan,, 202-375-6395

WASHINGTON (Dec 14, 2015) -

The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association today released updated performance measures for lipid management in secondary prevention, placing a greater emphasis on shared decision-making. The updated measures are based on the secondary prevention recommendations of the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults.

The document includes five measures, four of which are revisions of lipid management measures appearing in four existing measure sets: peripheral artery disease, ST-elevation and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary intervention, and coronary artery disease and hypertension. The fifth new measure applies to the population of patients with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease as defined by the cholesterol guidelines.

The new measures introduce the concept of shared decision-making into the performance measures. In shared decision-making, the physician and the patient work together to find the best treatment plan.

“These measures respect the wishes of patients regarding the use of statins and do not penalize physicians who may have a patient decline to take medications for personal reasons,” said Joseph P. Drozda, Jr., MD, FACC, director of outcomes research at Mercy Health in St. Louis and chair of the writing committee. “Integrating patient values, preferences and personal context with evidence-based medicine and guidelines is novel and changes the focus from recommending and prescribing statins based on evidence to promoting choice by an informed patient.”

The writing committee explains that the path forward includes engaging patients in making decisions about their care and developing tools to promote, facilitate and measure shared decision-making. Evidence-based medicine and guidelines alone are not sufficient to make a recommendation or decision. The evidence must be considered from the viewpoint of what matters to the individual patient.

“The clinician and patient must collaborate, deliberate and arrive at the best answer that fits the patient’s preferences, values and context,” said Drozda.

 The paper will be published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.  

About the American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology is a 49,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - America's No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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