Daniel Wolfson on Physician Awareness of Choosing Wisely Campaign

Increasing numbers of physicians are learning of the Choosing Wisely initiative through their specialty societies, said Daniel Wolfson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the ABIM Foundation. Awareness has also been boosted by journal articles on the program’s goal of reducing low-value care.

Increasing numbers of physicians are learning of the Choosing Wisely initiative through their specialty societies, said Daniel Wolfson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the ABIM Foundation. Awareness has also been boosted by journal articles on the program’s goal of reducing low-value care.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What is being done to ensure that physicians are aware of Choosing Wisely and using the recommendations?

Well, we have lots of partners. We have over 75 specialty societies directly communicating with their members about the Choosing Wisely campaign. So that’s about 800,000 physicians are being communicated and touched by their specialty societies. The awareness of Choosing Wisely is about 50%, we think; it used to be around 40% and we think it’s increased since the studies that we did and Carrie Colla did in 2014. But we’re going to reassess that, actually in February, to see what that awareness is.

What’s interesting is what’s happened as far as journal articles, for instance. In the last year, between 2014 and 2015, journal articles on low-value care and Choosing Wisely have doubled. And that’s the kind of conversation we were trying to have with the American public and with physicians, about less is sometimes more, and about low-value care and what we consider Choosing Wisely.

And Choosing Wisely was about waste, and it was about protested procedures identified by the specialty societies, evidence-based, frequently done, that where the risk doesn’t outweigh the benefit. Now that’s what we call waste. And we framed this campaign around, not the notion of cost reduction, but around the notion of better healthcare, higher quality, better patient safety, and most importantly, doing no harm.