AMDA recently announced two new Choosing Wisely Champions: David Smith, MD, CMD, President of Geriatric Consultants of Central Texas, and Anuj Bhatnagar, MD, CMD, Associated Medical Director of Riverside PACE in Virginia.
Dr. Smith was recognized for his work using Choosing Wisely campaign materials to educate prescribers in his community about the definition of acute urinary tract infections (UTIs) and the use of antibiotics. This effort included a letter, signed by the chief of pharmacy at the community hospital and every long-term-care medical director in the community, that was distributed to prescribers informing them about the importance of not prescribing antibiotics in cases of asymptomatic bacteriuria, as well as other issues related to UTI diagnosis, documentation, and antibiotic usage.
Dr. Bhatnagar used Choosing Wisely recommendations to teach nursing and front-line staff about the fundamentals of assessing UTIs in older adults via a series of educational seminars and emails. In these communications he stressed the importance of not automatically labeling people exhibiting particular symptoms with a UTI diagnosis, and suggested that an open thought process would help improve patient care, ensure accurate diagnosis, and prevent inappropriate use of antibiotics. Dr. Bhatnagar noted that the Choosing Wisely materials and related evidence helped nurses and others understand the need to rethink the diagnosis and treatment of UTIs.
“I am proud to recognize Drs. Smith and Bhatnagar as Choosing Wisely Champions and thank them for their commitment to improving our health care system through efforts to reduce overuse,” said AMDA Executive Director Christopher Laxton, CAE. “Their work embodies the ideals of this effort and exemplifies the value of engaged medical directors as quality leaders.”
The Choosing Wisely Champions program is designed to recognize clinicians who have gone above and beyond to make significant contributions to advance the ideals of the Choosing Wisely campaign by working to reduce overuse and unnecessary tests and treatments in medicine.