Getting Tools Used: Lessons Learned from Successful Decision Support Tools Unrelated to Health Care

The researchers developed case studies of four successful decision-support tools from the transportation, education, electronic, and nutrition industries in order to promote greater public demand and use of decision tools for health care. The case studies focused on the development, marketing and dissemination of the representative tools and considered questions such as: 1) Who initiated development of the tool and why? 2) Who was the audience? 3) How was the benefit of the tool framed? 4) How did this tool become a household name? 5) What were the dissemination strategies? 6) How was it marketed? 7) How were the tool and the dissemination strategies modified over time? 8) What were the barriers to the tool’s acceptance? 9) What was the timeline leading to acceptance? 10) How has the tool influenced consumer choice over time? and 11) Why did similar attempts not succeed? The objective of this project, awarded under a special topic solicitation on consumer activation, was to help health care decision tool developers refine their approaches to development, dissemination, and promotion and to increase public use of these tools to make informed choices about health and health care.