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Daniel Wolfson-Choosing Wisely: Promoting Conversations to Reduce Overuse in Health Care

Launched in 2012, Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) with the goal of fostering provider-patient conversations and partnerships in regards to reducing overuse and misuse of healthcare services. Daniel Wolfson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for ABIM, says the initiative has shifted the conversation from discussing rationing and death panels, to focusing on what is best for patients, and how to improve quality and safety.

“That reframing was really important,” shares Wolfson. “We have increased the dialogue and the quality of the dialogue between patients and physicians as well as among physicians.”

In addition to improving and increasing conversations, ABIM views the of misuse and overuse of health care services as a professional responsibility of physicians to address the issue. ABIM certainly been effective with Choosing Wisely. With the doubling of journal articles on overuse from 2014 to 2015, it is clear that the dialogue has increased. “It has become more prominent and more on the minds of physicians,” says Wolfson. “The conversation has also become a focus in research.”

With the prevalence of overuse and/or misuse, Choosing Wisely is equipping organizations with effective methods of addressing the issue.