You Probably Don’t Need These Five Tests or Treatments, Say Infectious Disease Experts

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), in partnership with the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign, has released a list of five tests or treatments that physicians and patients should question. The goal is to spark discussion about the need—or lack thereof—for many frequently ordered tests or treatments.

The Choosing Wisely campaign is aimed at promoting conversations between health care providers and patients that will lead to care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative of tests or procedures already received, free from harm and truly necessary. As a medical society of infectious diseases specialists, IDSA is committed to evidence-based medicine and develops clinical practice guidelines that inform the use of high-quality medicine.

IDSA’s list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” was developed by the Society’s Quality Improvement Committee and approved by its Board of Directors. The list, aimed at health care providers includes:

  1. Don’t treat asymptomatic bacteruria with antibiotics
  2. Avoid prescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory infections
  3. Don’t use antibiotic therapy for stasis dermatitis of lower extremities
  4. Avoid testing for a Clostridium difficile infection in the absence of diarrhea
  5. Avoid prophylactic antibiotics for the treatment of mitral valve prolapse

“Lists such as these created for the Choosing Wisely campaign will make great strides in creating awareness among both providers and patients of inappropriate or wasteful clinical actions that may harm patients or lead to costly health care,” said Ronald Nahass, MD, FIDSA, chair of IDSA’s Quality Improvement Committee.

For more information on infectious diseases specialists and IDSA, please visit the IDSA website.