August 21, 2017

Choosing Wisely

    

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      The Tennessee Medical Association and The Memphis Medical Society are among 21 state medical societies, specialty societies and regional health collaboratives to receive grant funding from the ABIM Foundation.  The funds will be used to help physicians and patients engage in conversations aimed at reducing unnecessary medical tests and procedures.  Support for the grant program comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).  In its mission to protect the health interests of patients and promote the effectiveness of physicians, the TMA is working with MMS on the grant project.  Its goals include educating Tennessee physicians about Choosing Wisely and developing demonstration projects to measurably reduce the overuse of medical testing and treatments, particularly imaging procedures in emergency rooms and other settings.

     The grants extend the reach of the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign in communities across the United States.  Launched in April 2012, Choosing Wisely is focused on encouraging physicians and patients to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances can cause harm.  Since April 2012, twenty-six medical specialty societies have created lists of tests and procedures they say are overused or inappropriate, and that physicians and patients should discuss.  For more information about the Choosing Wisely Campaign, please visit their website, http://www.choosingwisely.org or http://www.consumerhealthchoices.org.

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      Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation.  The purpose of the program is to educate physicians and patients on how to talk about the overuse of certain tests and procedures.  Another main goal of the initiative is to assist physicians in their efforts to help their patients make informed healthcare choices.  To date, twenty-six national specialty societies have developed a list of “Things Physicians and Patients Should Question”. Later this year, another sixteen (representing a total of 42) national specialty societies will release their lists.

     The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) and The Memphis Medical Society (MMS) have received a grant from the ABIM Foundation to promote Choosing Wisely in Memphis.  These efforts are led locally by Ed Dismuke, M.D.  Dr. Dismuke is seeking champions who are willing to volunteer and represent their specialty.  These champions will assist him in developing plans and activities to promote Choosing Wisely among physicians and their patients. In particular, he is looking for physicians in different specialties who will briefly present via video a description of the “Top Five” list of overused tests and procedures in that specialty.  You may go to their website at www.choosingwisely.org to find out if your specialty is on the top five list. Every effort will be made to keep the amount of time involved by the champions to a manageable level.  If you are interested, please contact Michael Cates, CAE at (901) 761-0200 or mcates@mdmemphis.org.