Slowly, but surely, efforts being made by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation’s, Choosing Wisely campaign are taking hold, making measurable progress in improving laboratory/medical procedure utilization through education about evidence-based recommendations. The program’s intent is to promote conversations between patients and physicians about the best care plans that eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures.
ASCP’s Contribution to Choosing Wisely
ASCP recently released five new recommendations for lab test ordering (for a total of 25--view the full ASCP list). The added recommendations are as follows:
Top Performing Recommendations
ABIM shared a list of the top 12 Choosing Wisely recommendations that are being successfully used to improve lab procedure orders. The most effective recommendations (from various specialty societies) are from the following categories:
Choosing Wisely in Action
Education for providers and patients about best orders is particularly important in rural areas with higher poverty and lower literacy. A recent project called “Reaching Rural Providers, Patients and Communities,” in collaboration with the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA), used Choosing Wisely handouts and materials at four rural health sites. By sharing this educational information with patients, not only did the patients learn, the caregivers did as well, realizing the value of taking time to explain certain health condition and options to patients. 3
Improving Test Utilization
In another real-life example of Choosing Wisely in action, at Griffin Hospital in Connecticut, they used daily meetings to discuss lab orders for CBCs and electrolyte panels. They discovered that:
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