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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Category Archives: Overuse/Misuse

Action on Antibiotic Overuse

Overuse of antibiotics represents a serious challenge facing the health care system. This week, a number of well-known organizations, inspired by the aims of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, came together to focus their efforts on this issue.

One Group’s Commitment to Putting Choosing Wisely® into Practice

In April 2012, as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced its list of five tests and procedures where the risks did not exceed the benefits. Two recommendations ASCO included on its lists were: Don’t perform PET, CT and radionuclide bone scans in the staging of early breast cancer [...]

Avoiding Overuse is Key to Medical Professionalism

Deborah Korenstein, MD is one of the authors of the Professionalism Article Prize-winning article “Overuse of Health Care Services in the United States.” In her blog post, she details the impetus behind her research and how she discovered how closely the concept of “overuse” is tied to medical professionalism. When my colleagues and I embarked [...]

Postscript on Incurable and Irreversible: A Story of Overuse and Underuse at the End-of-Life

In my previous post, Incurable and Irreversible, I addressed the ambiguous language of my mother-in-law’s advanced directive at the time of her initial stroke. This post addresses the events surrounding my mother-in-law’s final days. During her stay in the hospital after her stroke, we were confronted by the decision whether or not my mother-in-law should [...]

Where Do the Savings Go When Waste is Removed?

Recently, I spoke on a panel at a NEHI (New England Health Institute) Roundtable Discussion in Washington, DC on bending the cost curve. NEHI had released a list of actions that could reduce costs by more than $700 million and improve quality of care. Their recommendations included reducing medication errors, reducing antibiotic use, improving patient [...]

Physicians and Residents Climbing the Mt. Everest of Medical Waste

The ABIM Foundation’s “Putting the Charter into Practice” grant program is focused on advancing stewardship in health care delivery systems. In 2011, we awarded five grants of $20,000 each, and we’ve been excited to see the tremendous return on this investment.

It Was Just a Cough: Wasteful and Potentially Harmful Medicine

Over the past year I’ve written much about the Choosing Wisely® campaign, but a recent personal experience serves as the inspiration for this post.

Choosing Wisely: What’s Next?

Several professional organizations, regional collaboratives and health systems/hospitals are asking how they should approach the implementation of the Choosing Wisely® campaign recommendations.

Recommended Reading: January 4 – 11

The first Recommended Reading of 2013 features the latest articles addressing the problems of waste and overuse: In an Archives of Internal Medicine editorial, the authors assert that “there is much work to be done to overcome the bias toward overtreatment.” They cite the Choosing Wisely® campaign as an important step in reducing unnecessary tests [...]

Recommended Reading: Reflecting on the Choosing Wisely Journal Articles of 2012

Since nine medical specialty societies announced their lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in April, 55 published journal articles have referenced the Choosing Wisely® campaign. For the final Recommended Reading post of 2012, we’ve culled a selection of those articles, and will share more in the new year. In order of publication [...]