April 17, 2017
By Jennifer Lee
The WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care’s (WIHV) work to improve prescribing for seniors and reduce over-testing and overtreatment across Canada was featured in two reports this month.
A Spotlight on Leaders of Change: Implementing Choosing Wisely Canada Recommendations in Ontario to Improve Quality of Care, was released by Health Quality Ontario on April 5. In it, Women’s College Hospital was named as an important partner in reducing antipsychotic prescribing in long-term care facilities here in Ontario.
Unnecessary Care in Canada report was also issued by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Choosing Wisely Canada on April 6. WIHV’s founding director, Dr. Sacha Bhatia is the national evaluation lead for the Choosing Wisely Canada Campaign – an effort aimed at helping clinicians and patients engage in meaningful conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments. The overarching goal of this project is to reduce harm and improve care for patients across the country.
Dr. Bhatia spoke with CBC Saskatchewan last month about the focus of the report and the culture that contributes to over-doctoring and over-prescribing in medicine. For example, 22 per cent of Canadian women aged 40-49 are receiving mammogram screening, despite being of average risk for developing breast cancer and 23 per cent of Ontario inpatients with delirium are receiving potentially unnecessary head CT scans. After finding that more than 1 million potentially unnecessary medical tests and treatments are performed in Canada each year, the report highlights areas for improvement.
With recent coverage in the Globe and Mail, CBC and CTV News, WIHV, CIHI and Choosing Wisely Canada are continuing to highlight areas inside healthcare where it is possible to do better. In the context of her new book, Dr. Danielle Martin also released a video on this called, Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There. The clip features a conversation about how unnecessary tests and treatments can lead to longer wait times and potentially harm.
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