Choosing Wisely Australia has today released specific pandemic guidance, based on current evidence, to support health professionals as stewards of our finite health resources.
Choosing Wisely Australia is part of a global initiative encouraging clinicians, consumers and healthcare stakeholders to have conversations about tests, treatments and procedures where evidence shows they provide no benefit or in some cases cause harm.
“There’s never been a more important time for us to stop, reflect and discuss the necessity of health care at both an individual patient and a systems level,” says NPS MedicineWise Client Relations Manager and Choosing Wisely spokesperson Dr Robyn Lindner.
“We need to look at what the evidence tells us, talk with patients about unproven therapies or advice, and ensure patients are getting the right health care in the right way for them and their condition.
“During the pandemic, Choosing Wisely is encouraging patients to continue to seek their usual care for new or existing conditions.
“Telehealth is also as an option, where appropriate, to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 and to increase accessibility,” she says.
The Choosing Wisely pandemic guidance for health professionals, which will be updated as new evidence emerges, is in the format of five key messages with supporting resources.
A corresponding list of five key messages for consumers is also available, encouraging Australians to continue to seek the right health care even during the pandemic, while asking questions about whether their test, treatment or procedure is necessary or if it can wait.
As part of the promotion of this pandemic guidance, clinicians and consumers are being reminded of the Choosing Wisely 5 questions which consumers can use to start a conversation with their doctor or other healthcare provider about what matters to them and their health, available in English and 12 additional languages.