Choosing Wisely aims to promote conversations between clinicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is:
- Supported by evidence
- Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
- Free from harm
- Truly necessary
In response to this challenge, national organizations representing medical specialists asked their providers to “choose wisely” by identifying tests or procedures commonly used in their field whose necessity should be questioned and discussed. The resulting lists of “Things Providers and Patients Should Question” are intended to spark discussion about the need—or lack thereof—for many frequently ordered tests or treatments.
To help patients engage their health care provider in these conversations and empower them to ask questions about what tests and procedures are right for them, Consumer Reports has developed patient-friendly materials based on the specialty societies’ lists of recommendations. These materials are disseminated through the campaign’s consumer partners.
For providers, a suite of communication education modules was created to help them engage in these conversations with their patients. A growing library of video resources also provides diverse perspectives on the campaign’s impact and challenges.
Note: Choosing Wisely recommendations should not be used to establish coverage decisions or exclusions. Rather, they are meant to spur conversation about what is appropriate and necessary treatment. As each patient situation is unique, providers and patients should use the recommendations as guidelines to determine an appropriate treatment plan together.