The goal of the Choosing Wisely® campaign is to stimulate conversations between patients and their clinicians about appropriate tests and procedures with the aim of avoiding unnecessary care. Medical societies started the dialogue by releasing their lists of recommendations and promoting the campaign to their members. By working with Consumer Reports and consumer groups, we hoped to educate patients so that they could make informed decisions about their care in partnership with their clinicians.
Access to the Internet has given patients more information than ever before. Because a self-diagnosis is just a few clicks away, it is more important than ever to provide patients with credible, evidence-based health care information in easy-to-understand language. Consumer Reports’ translations of the society’s recommendations are critical to the campaign’s success for this very reason.
Most popular Consumer Reports resources
In 2015, traffic to the most popular patient resources produced by Consumer Reports increased by 20 percent. The subjects of the most popular materials include avoiding antibiotics for pink eye, treating blocked leg arteries and migraine headaches, routine colonoscopies and allergy tests.
|Antibiotics for Pink Eye||67,769||3,792|
|Treating Blocked Leg Arteries||50,313||47,612|
|Treating Migraine Headaches||55,537||56,357|
|Painkiller Choices with Kidney or Heart Problems||38,679||31,768|
|EKGs and Exercise Stress Tests||40,832||60,999|
|Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections in Older People||22,142||5,614|
|Imaging Tests for Headaches||25,877||23,037|
|Antibiotics for Ear Infections in Children||25,812||3,725|
Many of the most popular Consumer Reports brochures, and those with the largest year-over-year increases, tackled the subject of antibiotic overuse, mirroring the increase in media coverage on the subject over the past year. To make Choosing Wisely less “clinical” and more accessible to patients, Consumer Reports has started collecting stories from patients about how the campaign has influenced their health care decisions. The stories have already garnered much attention on the Consumer Health Choices website—yielding the site’s highest traffic numbers in just over two months—as well as sparking conversations on the Consumer Health Choices Facebook page. We will be featuring these stories in upcoming editions of this newsletter.
Easier access to Choosing Wisely information
Since the campaign launched in 2012, we have seen a tremendous increase in the amount of users viewing ChoosingWisely.org on mobile devices and tablets. In one year alone, the number of visits on mobile devices increased by 220 percent; those viewing the site on tablets have grown by 173 percent.
In April, the site was relaunched to provide a better experience on this technology so physicians and patients could have better access to the recommendations and resources. The redesign also included improved search functionality that enabled users to search the recommendations by society, topic area, age, setting and service; the patient lists were also categorized by society, category and age.
The campaign—and website—will continue to grow in 2016. Over 80 new recommendations were added on lists published by:
- Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (October)
- American Academy of Dermatology (2nd list in August)
- American Academy of Pediatrics – Section on Perinatal Pediatrics (July)
- American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (July)
- American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (June)
- American Urological Association (2nd list in June)
- American Urogynecologic Society (May)
- American Academy of Nursing (2nd list in April)
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine (2nd list in April)
- American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (2nd list in March)
- AMDA—The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (2nd list in March)
- American College of Preventive Medicine (February)
- Infectious Diseases Society of America (February)
- American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery Foundation (February)
- American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (February)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (2nd list in February)
- Society for Vascular Surgery (January)
We want to thank all our partners who make the campaign possible and are looking forward to 2016 when we will be rolling out exciting new programs to keep the conversation going.