Healthcare Business News
James Guest, president and CEO of Consumer Reports

Choosing Wisely campaign expands list of questionable tests, procedures

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: February 21, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation expanded its Choosing Wisely campaign, adding 90 more tests and procedures that it considers possibly unnecessary or harmful, several of which involve the use of antibiotics and imaging.

Seventeen newly participating medical societies each submitted at least five tests or procedures to the campaign, which was launched in 2011 by the ABIM Foundation, a not-for-profit that seeks to advance medical professionalism.

The campaign recommends that physicians question the more than 130 tests and procedures cited by the campaign before they are ordered.

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“In less than a year, more than 70 million consumers have received practical advice about medical tests and treatments that are often overused or inappropriate,” said James Guest, president and CEO of Consumer Reports, which partnered with the ABIM Foundation on the campaign, in a news release. “And we applaud the courage of the specialty societies for addressing overuse and encouraging informed patient-doctor dialogue.”

The new recommendations include waiting six weeks to do imaging for low back pain, unless red flags are present; avoiding elective, nonmedically indicated inductions of labor between 39 weeks and 41 weeks; steering clear of ordering antibiotics for adenoviral conjunctivitis; and not ordering continuous telemetry monitoring outside of the ICU without using a protocol that governs continuation.

In addition, the ABIM Foundation said that three specialty medical societies plan to update their lists later this year. Another nine groups, including the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, will release their recommendations in 2013 as well.

The campaign announced the other tests and procedures in 2012.

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