Choosing Wisely – Takes off in NZ! Harsh Vardhan Representative
Harsh Vardhan, President Tangata Tiriti was appointed February 2017 as the Choosing Wisely representative for Allied Health at Hutt Valley DHB. His role is to encourage and support allied leaders/clinicians to take up Choosing Wisely projects.
Here is the latest update – Choosing Wisely takes off in New Zealand!
New Zealand’s Choosing Wisely campaign, has grown substantially since its launch in December 2016.
Choosing Wisely encourages health professionals to talk with patients about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures; and patients to discuss with their health professional whether they really need a particular intervention.
Medical colleges and specialist societies have developed lists of recommendations of unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures for their area of practice to help health professionals start a conversation with their patients about what is appropriate and necessary. There are now nearly 130 lists of recommendations and resources, spanning a wide range of specialties.
There is also a growing number of patient resources to help consumers make better health care choices.
The Council of Medical Colleges is facilitating Choosing Wisely in New Zealand as part of its commitment to improving the quality of care for all patients. The campaign is supported by several organisations representing a wide range of health professionals and consumers, including the Health Quality & Safety Commission and Consumer.
Council Chair Dr Derek Sherwood says Choosing Wisely is about shifting thinking by health professionals and patients; that more is not necessarily better when it comes to health care treatment.
“For example, not only do X-rays and CT scans expose patients to potentially cancer-causing radiation, many studies have shown these scans frequently identify things requiring further investigation that often turn out to be nothing. This means patients can undergo stressful and potentially risky follow-up tests and treatments for no reason.”
Choosing Wisely encourages patients to ask their health professionals these four questions:
- Do I really need to have this test treatment or procedure?
- What are the risks?
- Are there simpler, safer options?
- What happens if I do nothing?
Harsh believes that Choosing Wisely will be a great opportunity for Allied Health to be leaders in health services.