Free Online Cases Teach Physicians About Choosing Wisely and High Value Care
In early 2014 the American College of Physicians (ACP), who was among the first nine specialty society partners of Choosing Wisely, released a series of free online cases and questions through their High Value Care (HVC) initiative in support of the core concepts of the campaign. The modules are available in part through the Choosing Wisely grant program, administered by the ABIM Foundation, and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The five cases, which take between 30 to 60 minutes to complete, are being offered to clinicians for free CME credit and ABIM Maintenance of Certification points and include:
- Avoid Unnecessary Testing
- Use Emergency and Hospital Level Care Judiciously
- Improve Outcomes with Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Prescribe Medications Safely and Cost Effectively
- Overcome Barriers to High Value Care
Learning objectives for the cases include:
- “Estimate harms and costs associated with common tests” (Avoid Unnecessary Testing)
- “Calculate ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses depending on insurance status, type of plan and setting of care” (Use Emergency and Hospital Level Care Judiciously)
- “Explore comparative costs of medications (generic vs. non-generic)” (Prescribe Medications Safely and Cost Effectively)
“The cases highlighted in the modules are an interactive way to help clinicians consider the benefits, harms and costs of tests and treatment options for common conditions to improve health and eliminate waste,” says Cynthia Smith, MD, senior physician educator at ACP. “More than $750 billion annually is spent on wasted care. Through the Choosing Wisely campaign and ACP’s HVC initiative, the organization is committed to doing its part to help bend that cost curve and to reduce the unsustainable financial burdens to our health care system and our patients. These modules assist physicians in making decisions that provide the best possible care to their patients while simultaneously reducing unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures in the health care system.”
ACP plans to promote the modules at regional and national meetings, and an online discussion board will be created to encourage ongoing dialogue on these topics. ACP plans to explore future subjects, which could include challenges in communicating with patients and how to overcome barriers to implementation of recommendations.
Physicians who complete the entire educational program online will be asked to complete a survey. Results of the survey will be analyzed to assess the extent to which the HVC program positively impacts physicians’ clinical behavior and physician/patient communication. The HVC cases are a useful tool for health care providers who want to learn more about the Choosing Wisely campaign and how it relates to high value care while improving their patient communication skills. Health systems or membership organizations may want to use the tool as part of a Choosing Wisely implementation or quality improvement plan.