Choosing Wisely Canada:
a timely conversation for Islanders and their doctors
The Medical Society of PEI (MSPEI) is pleased to recognize this announcement by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), regarding the launch of Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC). CWC is a campaign to help patients and physicians engage in conversations about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures, and to help physicians and patients make smart and effective choices to ensure high quality care.
MSPEI President, Dr. David Bannon, explained that the launch of CWC is the first formal step in a long-term effort across Canada.
“It’s about changing the current culture of more is always better to one that recognizes that just because something is available, doesn’t mean it should be used. This is not simply a matter of waste; we know some tests may even be harmful. The premise of ‘choosing wisely’ sounds logical but we know that changes in culture are challenging. Today, we begin that shift.”
MSPEI Past-President and representative on CMA’s GP Forum, Dr. Rachel Kassner, feels that the CWC campaign will improve the quality of care provided in PEI and that the first release of the list of tests, treatments and procedures will undoubtedly spur dialogue between doctors and patients.
“Doctors and patients play equally important roles,” explained Dr. Kassner. “As doctors, we need to explain what is the very best evidence around specific interventions that are shown to provide no benefit. If we can have that discussion with our patients in a clear and straightforward way, a level of understanding and cooperation should take place.”
Referencing the unique access to CWC’s web-based tool www.choosingwiselycanada.org Dr. Kassner noted, “This allows patients, the public, and physicians alike easy access to information on the 40 tests, treatments and procedures and the background to their development. Given patients’ use of online medical resources today, this aspect will help inform and likely prompt these conversations.”
MSPEI met recently with the PEI College of Family Physicians of Canada and MSPEI urges other health organizations and patient groups to contact the Medical Society of PEI if they are interested in being part of the CWC conversation in PEI.
CWC is modeled after a similar campaign in the US in which 60 medical societies to date have joined to develop Top 5 Lists of Tests & Treatments Physicians and Patients Should Question – things for which there is strong evidence of overuse, waste or even harm to patients.
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