Help Your Patients Choose Wisely

Choosing Wisely® in North Carolina, which aims to reduce health care waste by helping patients make smart and effective health care choices, now offers a new tool to help achieve this goal. The new Choosing Wisely toolkit offers resources and suggestions on how to effectively communicate with and educate patients to make wise choices. This information is particularly important now as the flu season begins and patients may be requesting unnecessary antibiotics to treat the flu, for instance.

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) along with four partners received a Choosing Wisely grant in 2016 administered through the North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance (NCHQA) to reduce by 20 percent the unnecessary use of antibiotics to treat viral bronchitis in adults, DEXA scans to measure bone density in women younger than 65 and men younger than 70, and annual Pap tests for women between the ages of 30 and 65. These are all examples of care that is not recommended under current medical guidelines.

Partners Duke Health and Cornerstone Health Care implemented programs to reduce unnecessary tests and procedures and surpassed the goals set out in the grant. The NCMS, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees all conducted complementary efforts to educate clinicians and consumers in N.C. about the problem of test and antibiotic overuse.

Keep the momentum going by accessing the new Choosing Wisely toolkit. You can learn more about Choosing Wisely at the NCMS LEAD Health Care Conference on Thursday, Oct. 18, when those involved with the recent Choosing Wisely grant hold a panel discussion on “The Choosing Wisely Program: How NC Health Systems and Practices Are Reducing Costs.” Learn more and register.


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