For the American Board of Pathology (ABP), the Choosing Wisely recommendations from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) are an opportunity to recognize physicians who have been working to advance the campaign and reduce overutilization.
“Implementing a Choosing Wisely recommendation into practice is a systems-based competency, which will lead to better quality care and appropriate use of resources,” said Rebecca L. Johnson, MD, CEO of ABP. “We thought that this would be a great opportunity for physicians doing important work to improve their practice to simultaneously earn credit towards maintaining their board certification.”
Nearly 9,000 pathologists participate in ABP’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program and complete one activity a year to improve practice, among other requirements. During the last two years, pathologists have been able to fulfill their practice improvement requirement by implementing a Choosing Wisely recommendation in their hospital or lab.
To earn MOC credit from ABP, physicians fill out a form detailing their Choosing Wisely implementation.
While ABP is analyzing data related to Choosing Wisely engagement, Dr. Johnson said pathologists have completed projects to implement ASCP recommendations by working with their hospital or lab’s information systems.
For example, to eliminate the bleeding time test—an antiquated procedure to assess hemostasis—health systems can remove it from the test menu. If a doctor calls or wants to order one, the pathologist can explain how that test is outdated and recommend better options. Since pathologists are often consulted on test ordering, they have a unique opportunity to educate physicians and provide evidence-based Choosing Wisely recommendations for why certain tests might not be needed.
“The conversation is about using the most appropriate test,” Dr. Johnson said. “New tests are developed all the time and many are more sensitive and specific. Pathologists can work with the health care team to make sure they follow the most current guidelines and recommendations. They’ve always been interested in appropriate test utilization. Now, they get credit for it.”