In the field of medicine, the
customer is not always right, but that doesn't necessarily stop physicians from
ordering tests and procedures that may not be strictly medically indicated when their patients request such tests or procedures.
Recognizing this problem, the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) has joined with 10 other organizations in
the Choosing Wisely campaign, which is designed to
develop a series of evidence-based lists of medical tests, procedures and other
services that patients and physicians should question.
Originally piloted by
the National Physicians Alliance, the goal of the lists is to help physicians
and patients think and talk about overuse or misuse of health care resources and they are designed to help reduce the estimated 30 percent of the cost of care in the United States that is attributed to unnecessary tests, procedures, medical appointments, hospital stays and other services that may not improve people's health.
"Physicians play a leading role in addressing problems with our nation's health care system," said Christine Cassel, M.D., president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, in the news release. "By identifying specific procedures or tests that may commonly be ordered, but (are) not always necessary to improving patient care, we're kicking off an important and overdue conversation about making wise choices in health care. Everyone -- providers, patients and others -- plays a part in being better stewards of the system's finite resources."
The lists will be available in April so check back here for an update at that time!