CARP NS Members Urged to Choose Wisely

Choosing Wisely is a campaign to help clinicians and patients
engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments.

Choosing Wisely is a program under the leadership of Dr. Wendy Levinson, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto ably assisted by a team of leading Canadian physicians. It is also supported by the Canadian Medical Association and all provincial medical associations.

“More is not always better.”

As has been stated recently by Dr John Ross and Dr David Zitner in recent columns in this paper, patients need to be engaged if we are to improve health and use resources appropriately as well as making informed decisions about their own healthcare. The campaign entitled “More is not always Better” helps patients learn about tests and treatments and when they are necessary or not.

Every patient and perhaps every individual should go to the site and review the list of tests and treatments commonly used that are not supported by evidence and/or could expose patients to unnecessary harm.

I would hope that every clinician would also view the site and use the information to best treat their patients as well as an education tool to inform them of the choices and the reasons. If these were followed as appropriate, wait lists would be reduced, those who truly require the test or procedure would be seen quicker and our resources would be available for where it is most needed.

Finally every provincial Department of Health should promote this widely to clinicians and the public as well as all politicians.

CARP NS supporter and former Deputy Minister of Health, Kevin McNamara wrote this for publication.