In a first for Canada, nine national medical organizations today released lists of 40 tests, treatments and procedures that patients do not need in all circumstances as part of the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign. The lists are based on definitive evidence and have been developed to spur dialogue between doctors and their patients and to ensure delivery of high-quality medical care.
Clear and straightforward materials have been created for both physicians and patients to support decisions on what test, treatment or procedure is required or necessary, and what is not. For example, Choosing Wisely Canada would not recommend the ordering of diagnostic imaging for lower-back pain of less than six weeks duration unless there are red flags.
“Choosing Wisely Canada is about changing the culture that more is always better when it comes to medical tests and procedures,” said Dr. Wendy Levinson, founder of Choosing Wisely Canada, and a faculty member at the University of Toronto. “The goal of this is about providing good care with the right patient getting the right test and treatment and avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures.”
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is a lead partner in the campaign, which is focusing on linking best available medical evidence to both physicians and their patients.
“The Choosing Wisely Canada lists and materials being developed are not only a valuable conversation starter, but also a way for patients to get good, useful and trustworthy information,” said Dr. Chris Simpson, CMA President-Elect. “Choosing Wisely Canada will empower both physicians and their patients to be true partners in care.”
The nine national medical organizations participating in the first phase of Choosing Wisely Canada are:
*The CMA Forum on General and Family Practice Issues and the College of Family Physicians of Canada submitted a joint list.
To date, 30 Canadian medical specialty societies are at various stages of engagement in the campaign.
“Choosing Wisely Canada started in Ontario, but its reach is growing every day and this is now a truly national effort,” said Dr. Levinson. “The lists being released today will set the stage for more in the future. We have only just begun.”
Choosing Wisely Canada is modelled after the successful Choosing Wisely® campaign in the United States, launched by the American Board of Internal Medicine’s, ABIM Foundation.
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