The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is educating ophthalmologists in Minnesota about Choosing Wisely and helping them earn CME credits through a new online curriculum.
AAO’s new program focuses on helping ophthalmologists adopt and integrate its Choosing Wisely recommendations into practice. This work is being conducted as part of a grant from the ABIM Foundation and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to advance the campaign. AAO is piloting the program across the state before making it freely available to members nationwide in March 2015.
“The Choosing Wisely program encourages ophthalmologists to carefully consider and discuss with patients tests and procedures that may not be necessary and to make wise decisions about the most appropriate care,” said David Park, MD, Chief Executive Officer for AAO. “Physician decision-making, based on specific clinical circumstances, remains the ultimate clinical judgment. However, this list is based on good science and should stimulate a discussion between ophthalmologist and patient.”
Upon completion of the training ophthalmologists should be able to:
- Identify the five AAO Choosing Wisely recommendations and which ones relate to the care of his or her patients;
- Understand the evidence base supporting the AAO recommendations;
- Articulate strategies to include Choosing Wisely into conversations with patients;
- Identify the structural and personal barriers to implementing the AAO recommendations in the care of his or her patients; and,
- Determine which of these communication strategies to adopt to enhance the current care of his or her patients.
The curriculum addresses the objectives through three stages:
- The first stage teaches physician-patient communication by providing information on good communication principles and short video examples of conversations.
- In the second stage, participants learn about risks, costs and when to consider the tests and treatments cited in each recommendation.
- The third stage provides patient and point-of-care resources to support these conversations.
Participants who complete all three stages of the practice improvement activity are eligible for a maximum of 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
Flora Lum, MD, Executive Director of the H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., M.D. Center for Quality Eye Care, a quality of care and health policy research center established by AAO, says that the training has received positive feedback. According to Dr. Lum, 66 percent of physicians who took part in the pilot and completed the post-training evaluation reported a change in their practices as a result of the knowledge they gained. Forty-eight percent said they would share the AAO recommendations with their patients to implement and reinforce their learnings, and 24 percent plan to make more time to discuss tests and procedures with their patients.