An initiative of the ABIM Foundation
As the nation increasingly focuses on ways to provide safer, higher-quality care to patients, the overuse of health care resources is an issue of considerable concern. Many experts agree that the current way health care is delivered in the U.S. contains too much waste—with some stating that as much as 30 percent of care delivered is duplicative or unnecessary and may not improve people’s health.
It is urgent that physicians and patients work together and have conversations about wise treatment decisions. That means choosing care that is supported by evidence showing that it works for patients like them; is not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received; won’t harm them; and is truly necessary.
Choosing Wisely® is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation to help physicians and patients engage in conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures and support physician efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices. Recognizing the importance of physicians and patients working together, leading specialty societies, along with Consumer Reports, have joined Choosing Wisely to help improve the quality and safety of health care in America.
As part of Choosing Wisely, each participating specialty society has created lists of “Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” that provide specific, evidence-based recommendations physicians and patients should discuss to help make wise decisions about the most appropriate care based on their individual situation.
The resulting lists will stimulate discussion about the need—or lack thereof—for many frequently ordered tests or treatments. Participating specialty societies and the ABIM Foundation are using these lists to support physicians in making wise choices and will develop tools to help them have these kinds of conversations with patients.
This concept was originally piloted by the National Physicians Alliance, who through an ABIM Foundation Putting the Charter into Practice grant created a set of three lists of specific steps physicians in internal medicine, family practice and pediatrics could take in their practices to promote the more effective use of health care resources.
Consumer Reports, the nation’s leading independent, non-profit consumer organization, has also joined the campaign to provide resources for consumers and physicians to engage in these important conversations. They are coordinating consumer-oriented organizations to help disseminate information and educate patients on making wise decisions.
Continuing the Professionalism Challenge
Choosing Wisely is part of a multi-year effort of the A BIM Foundation to help physicians be better stewards of finite health care resources. It continues the principles and commitments of promoting justice in the health care system through a fair distribution of resources set forth in Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter.
Learn more about Choosing Wisely at www.ChoosingWisely.org.