Choosing Wisely

Choosing Wisely® – The Choosing Wisely initiative is part of a national and growing global movement to create conversations between health care providers and patients to reduce unnecessary use of tests, treatments and procedures.  It is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation and has spread to 19 other countries.

The goal of Choosing Wisely is to promote conversations between healthcare providers and patients by helping patients choose care that is:

  • Supported by evidence
  • Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
  • Free from harm
  • Truly necessary

Choosing Wisely partners with medical specialty societies, which have provided over 500 credible recommendations about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures, and has engaged over 800,000 clinicians throughout the country.  It provides patient facing educational materials that inform patients/consumers about the appropriate use of tests and procedures, while helping patients and health care providers engage in conversations around making smart and effective care choices.

Patients are encouraged to talk with their healthcare provider to make sure they end up with the right amount of care – not too much and not too little by using the:

The cost question is one of the hardest to address and understand within the 5 from Choosing Wisely.

  • Roughly one in three American families report significant financial burden as a consequence of medical care.1
  • Out-of-pocket costs (things like deductibles, co-payments, and payments of uncovered services) have risen over the past two decades, and now account for approximately one-fifth of health expenditures.2
  • Cost and affordability issues also have been shown to impact treatments adherence.3
  • Both patients and health care providers are interested in incorporating the elements of price transparency, cost, and value into clinical decision-making to ease patient distress and inform choices.4
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How do I gain access to the Choosing Wisely Information.

All Choosing Wisely materials are downloadable and are free of charge.  You can also access and download Choosing Wisely materials created by Maine Quality Counts under the Resource Tab.  And you can also access all clinician lists and patient materials from the ABIM Foundation.

Using Choosing Wisely to Improve Patient Experience

Why should I Implement Choosing Wisely to improve Patient Experience?  Click here to find out.

What is Good Quality Health Care?

Getting good quality health care can help you stay healthy and recover faster when you are sick.  But how do you know whether the care you get is good quality care?  Click here.

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Choosing Wisely  Resources Are Available at the Following Links:

For Providers

For Patients/Consumers

Implementing Choosing Wisely

Patient resources created by Maine Quality Counts

For Employers & Employees

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For Providers

Maine Quality Counts Online Module

Guides and Toolkits

  • Part of its Steps Forward set of practice improvement strategies, the American Medical Association created a module to help physicians advance Choosing Wisely in their practice. (CME available)
  • This step-by-step guide created by Consumer Reports helps clinicians, health systems, employers and community organizations implement a consumer-facing Choosing Wisely campaign.
  • The American Society for Clinical Pathology created this online toolkit to promote the campaign in the community. Included are links to articles and blog posts, implementation guides, handouts and posters available for download, among other resources.
  • For physicians or other health care leaders struggling with how to integrate Choosing Wisely‘s evidence-based best practices into their practices or organizations, this guide from the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force provides a step-by-step approach to making system-level changes.
  • The Task Force has also created a toolkit that provides primary care, specialty care and school-based clinics guidelines for prepping the care team from appointment-making to checking patients out.
  • This report details alignment to Choosing Wisely recommendations in Washington state county-by-county. The goal of the report is to inform local discussions about appropriate health care.
  • These guides and scripts for both faculty and students aid in discussions with medical students about treating lower back pain, sinus infections, testing for headaches, pap tests and cardiac testing.
  • This toolkit includes practice and workflow scripting, and easy ways for a practice to start empowering patients through Choosing Wisely.
  • Our neighbors in the North, Choosing Wisely Canada, have created a series of toolkits to provide a starting place for implementation by clinicians who have achieved significant impact in implementing a Choosing Wisely recommendation in their setting.
  • “Advancing the Choosing Wisely campaign in Clinical Practices and Communities” details the stories of success and lessons learned from the first round of Choosing Wisely grantees, 21 projects that sought to educate physicians about the campaign.
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Choosing Wisely Pre-Recorded Webinars

This project is supported by the ABIM Foundation

  1. Armstrong K, Ravenell KL, McMurphy S, Putt M. Racial/ethnic differences in physician distrust in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 2007;97(7):1283-1289.
  2. Alexander GC, Casalino LP, Meltzer DO. Physician strategies to reduce patients’ out-of-pocket prescription costs. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:633-636.
  3. Alexander GC, Casalino LP, Meltzer DO. Patient-physician communication about out-of-pocket costs. JAMA. August 20, 2003;290(7):953-958.
  4. Hunter WG, Zhang CZ, Hesson A, et al. What strategies do physicians and patients discuss to reduce out-of-pocket costs? Analysis of cost-saving strategies in 1755 outpatient clinic visits. Medical Decision Making. 2016:1-11.