A sustainable model for reducing low-value healthcare in Australian hospitals

The potential for a nationwide scale-up of the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative based on a Victorian model for implementation will be a key focus of this year’s 2019 National Meeting, in Melbourne on Thursday 30 May.

Insights from a year-long Safer Care Victoria scaling collaboration of Choosing Wisely in 11 health services – supported by the Better Care Victoria (BCV) Innovation Fund ­and NPS MedicineWise – will be shared with more than 200 delegates attending the annual event.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris said Victoria was the first state to fund the expansion of Choosing Wisely Australia across its hospital network.

“With 30 health services implementing Choosing Wisely to help reduce unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures for the benefit of their patients ­– to prioritise high-value healthcare – today’s National Meeting will offer valuable learnings on staff engagement, NPS MedicineWise design workshops, resources and evaluation processes,” Mr Morris said.

“Other states and territories have been watching the Victorian approach with interest and we look forward to being able to support future scaling collaborations in other areas of Australia.

“The ultimate goal is to create long-term, sustainable change in our hospitals, within primary care and among consumers in relation to reducing low-value and unnecessary heatlhcare practices.”

Central to Choosing Wisely Australia is better communication between healthcare providers and consumers about the appropriateness and necessity of tests, treatments and procedures based on the latest available evidence.

Following the success of a Choosing Wisely implementation project at Austin Health, the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund supported the project to be rolled out within 11 additional health services.

The Victorian roll out is being independently evaluated, with full results expected by September 2019.

A new toolkit developed by NPS MedicineWise in collaboration with Safer Care Victoria will be released today – showcasing case studies and resources for health services seeking to implement Choosing Wisely projects at their organisations.

“Choosing Wisely is critically important for the right patient to get the right test at the right time,” said BCV Board Chair Doug Travis, who will be presenting at the National Meeting.

“The approach of Choosing Wisely is to create a system of thought and process that embeds in health services’ and clinicians’ very core the mantra of giving the right patient the right test at the right time.”

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said: “The Andrews Labor Government is proud to support pioneering projects like Choosing Wisely that improve the way Victorian patients receive world-class care.

“We’re drawing on Victoria’s best and brightest medical minds and partnering with them to roll out new and more effective ways to treat more patients, sooner.

“Every day, medicine is changing, and to make the most of it, we need to keep evolving too.”

About Choosing Wisely: Choosing Wisely Australia® is an initiative of NPS MedicineWise in partnership with Australia’s health professional colleges, societies and associations. The campaign is enabling clinicians, consumers and healthcare stakeholders to start important conversations about tests, treatments and procedures where evidence shows they provide no benefit, or in some cases, lead to harm. It launched in April 2015.

/Public Release.