Choosing Wisely Canada campaign launched to improve patient care quality

The Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) has announced its involvement with the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign that will launch in the spring, according to a press release published on Feb. 21 by CAR.

The campaign, which will strive to help patients and physicians make informed decisions about medical care, aligns with CAR’s mission to support high quality, appropriate and cost-effective health care for Canadians. Those in support of the campaign hope that it will facilitate dialogue between patients and physicians in order to make a collaborative decision about which exams are necessary. This partnership is vital for the continued betterment of the Canadian health care system, according to CAR.

In an associated commentary, Wendy Levinson, MD, of the University of Toronto, and Tai Huynh, MBA, of the Centre for Innovation in Complex Care in Toronto, wrote: “Engaging patients in the conversation is important, because they have expectations about tests and procedures physicians should order on their behalf. As part of the campaign, patient education materials are being developed that will describe why a test or procedure might not be needed. Given that the health care system in Canada is publicly funded, patient engagement is imperative to avoid the potential perception that this is purely a cost-cutting initiative.”

A list of things that patients and physicians should question will be released by the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign in April.

“For many years, both physicians and patients have had a ‘more is better’ attitude. It is time to adopt a ‘think twice’ attitude and to avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful tests, procedures and treatments,” Levinson and Huynh wrote.