Physicians play a critical role in initiating conversations about appropriate care with patients and other clinicians. A national initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, Choosing Wisely aims to promote conversations between physicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is:
Choosing Wisely has enlisted more than 60 medical specialty societies to create lists of "Things Physicians and Patients Should Question," which provide specific evidence-based recommendations for conversations on the risks and benefits of various medical tests. To date, there are more than 500 recommendations available.
The WSMA offers resources for patients, physicians and care teams, designed to help raise public awareness and garner support around Choosing Wisely's recommendations. Review our resources below. To learn more about the Choosing Wisely initiative, visit the national Choosing Wisely website.
The WSMA introduced the national Choosing Wisely initiative to Washington state in 2012 as part of its Know Your Choices, Ask Your Doctor initiative, and partnered with the Washington State Hospital Association and the Washington Health Alliance to help raise public awareness around appropriate test utilization. The three organizations co-sponsor the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force, a group of more than 20 medical leaders from the largest health care organizations in the state, tasked with developing resources for physicians and health care facilities.
The WSMA supports Choosing Wisely through the WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement.
Sometimes good medicine is about what not to do. Choosing Wisely® encourages patients to talk with their physicians about the necessity of various tests and procedures. The following guidance can help you talk to your physician, help you understand what questions to ask and what evidence your physician is using to best treat your individual condition.
The more you know, the more prepared you will be to ask your physician questions, understand recommendations and weigh the pros and cons of treatment options—all of which add up to getting the right care to best treat your individual condition.
Choosing Wisely has enlisted more than 60 medical specialty societies to create lists of "Things Physicians and Patients Should Question," which provide specific evidence-based recommendations for conversations on the risks and benefits of various medical tests. To date, there are over 500 recommendations available.
Visit the Choosing Wisely website to find these recommendations, searchable by subject and keyword.
Want to ask your physician or health care provider about a test, diagnosis or treatment but don’t know where to start? Choosing Wisely offers guidance to help you talk to your physician, such as what questions to ask and what evidence he/she is using to best treat your individual condition.
Our goal is to promote informed conversations between physician and patient and to encourage shared decision-making. These five questions may help guide the conversation for both the patient and the health care provider to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time:
Click here to download a wallet card with the five questions to have handy at your next doctor visit.
View this video on how you can put the five questions to use during a visit with your doctor.
The following tools can help you integrate Choosing Wisely's evidence-based best practices into your practice or organization.
For physicians or other health care leaders struggling with how to integrate Choosing Wisely's evidence-based best practices into their practices or organizations, the Choosing Wisely Action Manual takes a step-by-step approach to making system-level changes. The manual was created by the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force, a group of more than 20 medical leaders from the largest health care organizations in the state. The task force is co-sponsored by the WSMA, the Washington Health Alliance and the Washington State Hospital Association.
Download the Choosing Wisely Action Manual
In 2014, the first statewide study in the nation to measure Choosing Wisely recommendations was published by the Washington Health Alliance in conjunction with the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force. The study, based upon claims data representing 3.3 million lives in Washington state, finds that patients in Washington may be exposed to care that they don’t need—and potential harm. A second report, published in 2016, showed improvement on six recommendations. The reports offer county-by-county results for nine different Choosing Wisely recommendations, and are based on the Choosing Wisely Claims-Based Technical Specifications (email email@example.com to request a copy).
Less waste. Less harm. Choosing Wisely in Washington state, September 2014
Less waste. Less harm. Choosing Wisely in Washington state, August 2016
First Do No Harm: Calculating Health Care Waste in Washington State, February 2018
First Do No Harm: Calculating Health Care Waste in Washington State, December 2018
Physicians agree: All patients need pre-op evaluation, but a low-risk patient having a low-risk procedure does not need pre-op testing. Providing high-quality care to patients includes eliminating unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures. Based on results from the 2018 “First Do No Harm” report, the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force focused efforts on unnecessary pre-op testing and developed resources you can use to improve your practice and educate your colleagues.
The "5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before You Get Any Test, Treatment or Procedure" single-page flyer is a simple and effective way to encourage shared decision making. Post one in your exam room, or have them available in your waiting room. Any one of these five questions can help start the conversation for both the patient and physician to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time:
Download the 5 Questions poster
Interactive instructional modules, based on specialty society recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign, are available. By completing the modules, physicians will learn strategies to build trust and address patient attitudes and beliefs.
Access the modules here.
The resources below can help prepare care teams in primary care, specialty care, urgent care and school-based clinics.