On February 21st, seventeen medical specialty societies announced new lists of things physicians and patients should question as part of the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign. This marks the second release of lists from the campaign; at least 18 societies will release new lists later in the year.
In addition to the announcement of new lists, Consumer Reports—which has worked with the medical specialty societies to create patient-friendly translations—published new brochures that now cover more than 30 specific topic areas.
The National Business Coalition on Health and Pacific Business Group on Health also unveiled new a Choosing Wisely Employer Toolkit to help employers educate their employees about steps they can take to avoid overused or unnecessary tests or procedures.
The announcement of new society lists was covered widely in the media and inspired reactions ranging from cautiously optimistic to skeptical that the campaign could achieve its goals.
A brief sampling:
The New York Times’ The New Old Age Blog For the Elderly, Medical Procedures to Avoid
“It is an attempt to alert both doctors and patients to problematic and commonly overused medical tests, procedures and treatments. It took an elegantly simple approach: By working through professional organizations representing medical specialties, Choosing Wisely asked doctors to identify ‘Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.’”
Huffington Post Choosing Wisely, Indeed
“This long overdue and welcome effort is launched to inspire conversations between patients and doctors about the necessity—or lack thereof—of many commonly-ordered diagnostic tests and medical approaches.”
Modern Healthcare Curbing Overuse (subscription required)
“We have created a medical ecology based on overprescription and overconsumption on the part of both physicians and patients,” Dr. Blair Erb said. “What Choosing Wisely has done is legitimize our ability to cut back on what’s unnecessary.”
Stand Up For Health Care Blog “Just in Case” Can Mean More Money and No Benefit
“Choosing Wisely is something we can all do to improve our own care and improve our health care system at large.”
Albany Herald Staff Editorial: More Isn’t Always Better in Medicine
“For American health care to be what it should be, its core has to reside in truthful communication between a patient and the doctor he or she trusts.”
Akron Beacon Journal Editorial: The Doctors’ List of Don’ts
“The premise of Choosing Wisely is that good information, presented in language that the average layman can grasp, will lead to intelligent conversation and good decisions about appropriate treatment. The project is appealing as an ongoing exercise in determining what is worth the money in medical care. It is especially appealing because when the recommendations come from practitioners themselves, it helps to strip a sensitive discussion of the toxic exaggerations so often the currency of the political arena.”
The Economist: Democracy in America Waste Lots, Want Lots
“The Choosing Wisely campaign is bravely entering the fray, but its ambition is modest. It hopes to convey that not all care is good care. Slowly, the culture among physicians and patients may change. But the campaign has no teeth. Its suggestions are phrased in the gentlest possible manner, listing treatments that ‘patients and physicians should question.’”