Eddie Patton, MD wants Texas physicians to use Choosing Wisely® to discuss the necessity of tests or procedures.
“Choosing Wisely is a good guideline as for what tests to order or are not beneficial to order,” said Dr. Patton, a Houston-area neurologist.
Choosing Wisely promotes conversations between physicians and patients based on evidence provided by dozens of national specialty societies. These organizations representing medical specialists were asked to "choose wisely" by identifying tests or procedures commonly used in their field whose necessity physicians and patients should question and discuss. The resulting lists of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" will aid conversations about many frequently ordered tests or treatments.
The Texas Medical Association is working with the ABIM Foundation to make physicians and the public more aware of the lists and encourage their use.
“Choosing Wisely is a campaign that empowers specialty societies in a way to save on spending and provide better care to our patients,” Dr. Patton said.
Dr. Patton first heard about Choosing Wisely from an American Academy of Neurology newsletter and attended a Houston Methodist Hospital talk over Choosing Wisely for their continuing medical education program. Dr. Patton now uses the suggestions as guidelines in his own practice, Methodist Sugarland Neurology Associates, and encourages the other neurologists to do so as well.
“When American Academy of Neurology released their tips, I printed the suggestions over my desk and discussed them with my colleagues,” he said.
Of the 5 recommendations that the American Academy of Neurology gave, Dr. Patton sees common overuse in electroencephalography performed for headaches and carotid endarterectomy for asymptomatic carotid stenosis, when the complication rate is not low. The use of these tests should decrease when it is not needed in the patient’s care, because otherwise they only increase costs, said Dr. Patton.
Dr. Patton thinks that the future of Choosing Wisely should be on going with specialty societies. He wants to see more lists as the initiative grows with new suggestion from each specialty, to show growth and that the medical community is trying to decrease unnecessary tests.
For more information, see the TMA website at www.texmed.org/choosingwisely.
Texas Medicine, Aug. 2014