Consumer Reports in partnership with the ABIM Foundation has just launched the Choosing Wisely Patient Champion program! Consumer Reports is holding a nationwide search to recruit and recognize Choosing Wisely Patient Champions, some of whom will be trained to become volunteer activists for the Choosing Wisely campaign. The Choosing Wisely campaign is part of the ABIM Foundation. The ABIM Foundation seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures. Can you think of someone who is a client, patient or student who is an excellent example of a Choosing Wisely Patient Champion? Learn more about the campaign and consider nominating a family you work with. Alternately, consider sharing with families, so they can learn more and apply themselves.
What is Choosing Wisely?
Some medical tests and treatments provide little benefit to patients. And in some cases, they even cause harm. Choosing Wisely, a long-running national campaign, promotes conversations between providers and patients with a goal of making sure everyone’s care is as safe and useful as possible. Patients are encouraged to discuss their care with their health care providers and choose care that is:
- Supported by evidence
- Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
- Free from harm
- Truly necessary
Doesn't this sound a lot like the fourth Healthy Birth Practice from Lamaze International - Avoid Interventions that are Not Medically Necessary? We encourage families in our childbirth education classes to be advocates for themselves and a true partner in their health care.
What is a Choosing Wisely Patient Champion?
Someone who asks their healthcare provider questions to find out if certain medical tests or treatments really are needed – or if there are other options; someone who encourages their friends and family to do the same; and someone who understands that more care is not always better care.
Who can be a Choosing Wisely Patient Champion?
Almost anyone, including a patient, parent, or caregiver – though they must be at least 18 years old. Consumer Reports is looking for everyday people. A healthcare professional (such as a doctor, nurse, midwife or medical/midwifery student) is not eligible.
What does a Choosing Wisely Patient Champion do?
Works with Consumer Reports to publicize their story; spreads the message of Choosing Wisely and the importance of talking about overuse with others. A Choosing Wisely Patient Champion will also work with Consumer Reports to share their story on online, in the Consumer Reports Magazine and via social media. They may also be asked to consider joining a team of activists by attending and completing the Consumer Reports Consumer Leadership Academy to learn how to effectively change the culture of medical overuse. There may also be the opportunity to attend regional and national conferences.
How do I nominate a Choosing Wisely Patient Champion?
Nominate someone by filling out the nomination form and submitting it by April 30, 2017. Consumer Reports may contact selected individuals for more information. A judging panel consisting of a doctor, a patient advocate, and Consumer Reports staff along with ABIM Foundation personnel will begin reviewing nominations and conducting interviews after that date. People can apply online through this link. 25 Champions will be selected to be trained as the first group of activists.
Resources for the families you work with
The Choosing Wisely campaign has created to very useful videos that you can consider using in your classes when you are discussing informed consent and self-advocacy. Don't Be Silent: A Choosing Wisely video is produced in the black & white / silent film style. This video encourages people to ask questions in the doctor's office, and not to be silent with their questions. There is a one-minute video and a :30 version of it. It is also available in long Spanish and short Spanish versions as well.
Resources for the professional
If you are interested, you may want to read the Choosing Wisely Provider Stories. These are stories of how five doctors and one physician assistant have used the Consumer Reports Choosing Wisely materials in their practices -- and what happened as a result. While more applicable to professionals, you may find useful information to pass on to the families you work with.
Additionally, the Consumer Reports Choosing Wisely website is chock full of additional information and resources for both you and the families you come in contact with.
Questions about the program or nomination procedure, please reach out to Consumer Reports at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be fantastic to have some Champions who can speak to the state of maternity care and how they advocated for a safe and healthy birth for themselves and their children. Take a moment to share with the families you work with and also consider if you are aware of someone who would make a great Choosing Wisely Patient Champion.