Fourteen pediatric hospitalists followed a similar process in developing its five suggestions.
“While this issue has been addressed in adult settings, in pediatrics, discussions about waste are almost nonexistent,” says Ricardo Quinonez, MD, FHM, a pediatric hospitalist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and chair of the pediatric ad-hoc committee. “I don’t think anyone was too surprised by our list, which is heavy on respiratory illnesses. That’s what kids get admitted to the hospital for.”
Dr. Quinonez suggests pediatric hospitalists use the list to engage with their specialist colleagues about appropriate treatment choices. “If you want to improve quality, here’s a place to start,” he says.
Dr. Bulger encourages hospitalists to stop and take a long look at the lists and think about ways to improve their own practice. He encourages hospitalists to take the recommendations to their hospitals’ quality-improvement (QI) committees and start collecting baseline data, he says, adding that “we should be able to come back a year from now and show that we’ve been able to change practice using these lists.”
A full-day pre-course, “QI for High Value Healthcare: Making the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely Campaign a Reality,” co-led by Dr. Bulger and Ian Jenkins, MD, of the University of California at San Diego, is planned for HM13 in Washington, D.C., in May (www.hospitalmedicine2013.org).
“[The pre-course] will feature the Choosing Wisely list and how you can both implement and improve on it,” Dr. Maynard says. Longer-term, SHM hopes to compile protocols, order sets, checklists, and other tools for posting on its technical assistance web pages. “Eventually, there may be a mentored implementation program and toolkit, based on best practices from the field. … Lots of people have done bits and pieces of this in their local settings. What’s lacking is a cohesive, portable approach, and that’s what we have our eyes on.”
Wolfson says the ABIM Foundation plans to conduct surveys in the next six months to gauge whether physicians think they should be stewards of healthcare resources. “I think you’ll start to see at leading institutions where it’s no longer just ‘Why didn’t you order this test?’ But ‘Why did you—and what were you hoping to learn from it?’” he says. “Just asking that question is a good start—and saying to yourself: Am I choosing wisely?”
Larry Beresford is a freelance writer in Oakland, Calif.