Overuse of scans, transfusions, and the length of time on anticoagulants received attention in the latest round of recommendations presented Monday, as part of the initiative across medicine to improve patient care with an eye toward controlling costs.
Hematologists received recommendations about how long to use anticoagulants, when to transfuse sickle cell patients and when to perform surveillance scans in patients with early-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as the American Society of Hematology (ASH) issued its second list of tests and treatments that should be questioned under the Choosing Wisely initiative.
This year’s list was announced at the start of the 2014 Annual Meeting of ASH, which concludes today in San Francisco, California. The first round of recommendations, numbers 1-5, were announced December 4, 2013; details of recommendations 6-10 were presented at a session Monday.
Choosing Wisely is the initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation that asks each specialty to identify tests or treatments that might be overused and unnecessary, with potential harm to patients. While saving healthcare dollars is not the only consideration of Choosing Wisely, its efforts will have that effect if patients and their doctors are more judicious in their medical decisions.
The 2014 ASH Choosing Wisely recommendations are:
Hicks LK, Bering H, Carson KR et al. Five hematologic tests and treatments to question. Hematology 2014; 2014: 599-60