April 2, 2014 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. The lists have been developed to spur dialogue between doctors and their patients and to ensure delivery of high-quality medical care. The lists are based on definitive evidence that these specific interventions provide no benefit to patients. They are the foundation of Choosing Wisely Canada, an awareness campaign launched today to help physicians and patients engage in conversations to make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality care.
The national campaign, developed in partnership with Scott Thornley + Company, will be featured in print, online, television and radio. All campaign elements will drive target audiences to visit www.choosingwiselycanada.org – a website which possesses clear and straightforward materials to support decisions on what procedures are required or necessary, and what are 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.”