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Choosing Wisely® was created in 2012 as an initiative of the ABIM Foundation to promote conversations between clinicians and patients.  National organizations including the American Occupational Therapy Association, American Physical Therapy Association, and American Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation provide medical specialists who provide information on tests and procedures commonly used in their field of practice.  Specific tests and procedures are discussed including evidence-based research, any potential duplication of services, risk of harm, and medical necessity.

“Things Providers and Patients Should Question” provides a search engine using keywords, society, topic area, age, setting and service types via their website choosing wisely.org or the Choose Wisely® mobile app on your iPhone or Android device. The initiative has five components for successful implementation:

  1. Where Should I Start? Information on the origins of the campaign, accounts from early adopters, and anecdotes from patients on the effects of overtreatment.
  2. Am I Choosing Wisely? Learning modules for clinicians that help them hone communication skills, avoid unnecessary testing, and overcome barriers to delivering high-value care.
  3. How Can I Implement Choosing Wisely®? Information for clinicians or health system leaders looking to start a program at their organization.
  4. How Can I Implement Choosing Wisely® in My Community? Information for community organizations and employers looking to engage patients in the campaign.
  5. How Can I Implement Choosing Wisely® in My Workplace? Resources for employers to educate their employees about avoiding overuse.

This call to action has resulted in specialty-specific lists of,  “Things Providers and Patients Should Question,” to help patients engage their health care provider in these conversations and empower them to ask questions about what tests and procedures are right for them, patient-friendly materials were created based on the specialty societies’ lists of recommendations of tests, and treatments that may be unnecessary.

As Functional Pathways continues to strive for innovative and evidence-based practices to promote functional outcomes,  Choosing Wisely® will be a great addition as our clinicians implement the campaign in their practice.

Note: Choosing Wisely® recommendations should not be used to establish coverage decisions or exclusions. Rather, they are meant to spur conversation about what is appropriate and necessary treatment. As each patient situation is unique, providers and patients should use the recommendations as guidelines to determine an appropriate treatment plan together.