Choosing Wisely®, a national campaign led by the ABIM Foundation and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is aimed at sparking conversation between doctors and patients about the overuse of medical testing, treatments and procedures. This can mean overuse in the areas of prescription drugs, such as antibiotics for a runny nose or sinus infection. It can also mean overuse in the area of imaging tests, like an unneeded CT scan for a headache or an MRI for most low-back pain. And it can also mean overuse in terms of procedures, like a C-section for a healthy pregnant woman, just because it’s more convenient.
Choosing Wisely® encourages patients to engage in conversation with their doctors, perhaps by starting with the following five questions before getting most tests, treatments, and procedures:
- Do I really need this test or procedure?
- What are the risks?
- Are there simpler, safer options?
- What happens if I don’t do anything?
- How much does it cost?