New Tool Available to Maine Clinicians for Reducing Unnecessary Medical Treatments

Published on November 17, 2015 by
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Introducing the Choosing Wisely® Campaign

choosing wiselyFirst appearing in Maine in 2013 as a pilot program engaging a small number of primary care practices, ABIM Foundation’s  Choosing Wisely campaign is now growing to engage multiple health systems and community organizations in Maine.

Maine Quality Counts is a Choosing Wisely grantee, and is working to advance the goals of the campaign  by promoting conversations between clinicians and patients to help patients choose care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, free from harm and truly necessary.

Recognizing the importance of providers and patients working together, more than 70 leading medical societies, along with Consumer Reports, are participating. Each has created lists of “Things to Question” that provide specific, evidence-based recommendations providers and patients should discuss to help make wise decisions about the most appropriate care based on their individual situation.

Choosing Wisely in Maine

Maine Quality Counts is one of seven initiatives funded by the ABIM Foundation, and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, working to reduce overused or unnecessary tests and treatments. Each of these projects will focus on implementation of at least three Choosing Wisely recommendations, including reducing the use of antibiotics for viral infections by at least 20 percent over nearly three years at participating health systems, hospitals and medical groups in their regions.

By 2018, Maine Quality Counts is aiming for a 20 percent reduction in overuse of:

  • antibiotics for acute bronchitis in older adults
  • advanced imaging for low back pain
  • benzodiazepines in older adults

Evaluation of this goal will focus on health systems in the greater Bangor and Midcoast (Bath/Brunswick) regions, but Maine Quality Counts invites all clinicians in Maine to reduce unnecessary use  in these three focus areas no matter where their location. To start, clinicians may download a new evidence-based Choosing Wisely Implementation Toolkit created just for Maine providers. In addition, background information created by the Infectious Disease Society of America, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Geriatrics Society and others is also available. Both the toolkit and background info sheets can be found at mainequalitycounts.org/choosingwisely.

Need more information? Visit choosingwisely.org or contact Kellie Slate-Vitcavage at Maine Quality Counts: (207) 620-8526 x1011.

 


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