On June 18 the ABIM Foundation announced the selection of seven initiatives that will focus on reducing the use of tests and treatments that national medical specialty societies participating in Choosing Wisely® have said are overused. The grant program, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will bring together health care organizations from across the country that have built strong multistakeholder alliances to focus on implementing at least three Choosing Wisely recommendations, including the use of antibiotics to treat viral infections. Each project will seek to reduce utilization of their selected recommendations by at least 20 percent over nearly three years at participating health systems, hospitals and medical groups in their regions.
Each initiative will receive a grant of $315,000 to advance Choosing Wisely. The grantees are:
- Greater Detroit Area Health Council
- Integrated Healthcare Association
- Maine Quality Counts
- North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance
- UCLA Department of Medicine
- Washington Health Alliance
- Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality
The focus on antibiotic overuse was driven by estimates from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that more than half the antibiotics used in the United States are prescribed unnecessarily or used improperly. To help educate physicians about the importance of reducing antibiotic overuse, several societies have included recommendations in their Choosing Wisely lists, including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Campaign partner Consumer Reports has produced a number of patient-friendly resources about antibiotic overuse that are publicly available on its online antibiotics hub, which includes tools and resources covering a variety of situations patients may encounter. Consumer Reports is also educating the public broadly through a three-part series entitled “America’s Antibiotic Crisis.”
The announcement of the new grant projects marks the second selection of grantees to advance the Choosing Wisely campaign. From 2013–2015, 21 projects led by state medical societies, specialty societies and regional health collaboratives helped educate physicians about the recommendations and build physicians’ skills to have conversations with patients about the care they need. Highlights of their work can be found in a new report entitled “Advancing the Choosing Wisely Campaign in Clinical Practices and Communities.”