August 2, 2019

Choosing Wisely

Choosing Wisely is a global initiative aimed at reducing unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures and empowering consumers to ask questions about their healthcare management. Northern Health joined the year-long Choosing Wisely Victorian Collaborative in July 2018.

Northern Health implemented several projects to address these objectives including reducing CT Pulmonary Angiograms (CTPAs), coagulation studies and ultrasounds unnecessarily ordered.

Sandy Ayoub, Project Manager for this initiative, says Choosing Wisely is a simple, broad and extremely valuable concept in healthcare.

“We are always looking to be more efficient, and that is the primary object of Choosing Wisely.”

“By implementing evidence-based practice to reduces unnecessary tests and treatments, we can reduce waste and financial burden on patients and the organisation, as well as avoid unnecessary stress on patients. It’s a no-brainer,” Sandy said.

Among the significant achievements was a 32% reduction in unnecessary coagulation studies and a 36% reduction in unnecessary CTPAs ordered in our emergency department. This has doubled the percentage of appropriately ordered CTPAs scans from 29% to 64%.

Sandy also explained how the NPS MedicineWise 5 Questions empowers patients to ask questions about their tests, treatments and procedures.

“Clinicians appreciate this because it promotes conversations between the patient and clinician,” she said.

“It has been a great experience to see how Choosing Wisely can improve clinical practice and it’s exciting to think of all the different areas which would benefit from Choosing Wisely,” she added.