Sunday, September 22, 2013

Updated: Choosing Wisely - List Of Unnecessary Medical Tests

Oh no, not another test!

Ever wonder if you needed that stress test?

What if a patient could access information online about what tests may or may not be appropriate and necessary?

The ABIM Foundation enlists physicians and specialty societies to communicate the overuse of unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.

The ABIM Foundation’s "Choosing Wisely" campaign along with its partners Consumer Reports and 50 specialty societies, have identified tests or procedures commonly used in their field, whose necessity should be questioned and discussed. The result is a list of “Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.” Since the campaign was launched in 2011, hundreds of medical tests and procedures have been questioned by the ABIM Foundation’s partners and physicians.

The information is helping patients make informed medical decisions on a wide array of tests. For instance if you’re scheduled for surgery do you need pre-op Chest X-rays ? What about that Colonoscopy? Do you know when you need one and when you don’t?

A list from the American Society of Clinical Oncology offers important decisions about cancer, which include five tests and treatments that are not supported by evidence for most patients. That means you should generally avoid them unless you and your doctor jointly decide they are appropriate in your case.

On Friday the American Psychiatric Association added five "uses" of antipsychotic drugs that are common but unnecessary and sometimes harmful. Number four on the list is;

Don’t routinely prescribe antipsychotic medications as a first-line intervention for insomnia in adults.
There is inadequate evidence for the efficacy of antipsychotic medications to treat insomnia (primary or due to another psychiatric or medical condition), with the few studies that do exist showing mixed results

All lists are available in PDF - for downloading, or view the September 2013 index and future "Choosing Wisely" partner's who have released lists here.

Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.” 

The Medical Professionalism Blog

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