Health care decisions are complex and involve confronting trade-offs between multiple, often conflicting, objectives. Using structured, explicit approaches to decisions involving multiple criteria can improve the quality of decision making and a set of techniques, known under the collective heading multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA), are useful for this purpose. MCDA methods are widely used in other sectors, and recently there has been an increase in health care applications. In 2014, ISPOR established an MCDA Emerging Good Practices Task Force. It was charged with establishing a common definition for MCDA in health care decision making and developing good practice guidelines for conducting MCDA to aid health care decision making. This initial ISPOR MCDA task force report provides an introduction to MCDA - it defines MCDA; provides examples of its use in different kinds of decision making in health care (including benefit risk analysis, health technology assessment, resource allocation, portfolio decision analysis, shared patient clinician decision making and prioritizing patients’ access to services); provides an overview of the principal methods of MCDA; and describes the key steps involved. Upon reviewing this report, readers should have a solid overview of MCDA methods and their potential for supporting health care decision making.