Diving into Overuse in Hospitals

Unnecessary testing and treatment is a pervasive problem in health care, and is present in virtually every hospital, department and clinic, irrespective of size or how diligent the clinicians are who work there.

Although clinicians ultimately make decisions about which tests and treatments to order, many of these decisions can often be influenced by existing hospital systems that, if outdated or poorly designed, can nudge clinicians toward ordering tests and treatments that do not reflect evidence-based guidelines and practices. This can expose patients to avoidable harm, lengthen wait times, and consume precious hospital resources.

Diving into Overuse in Hospitals is a national campaign that aims to reduce unnecessary tests and treatments in hospital settings. The goal of the campaign is to get hospitals across Canada to join the global Choosing Wisely movement by making changes, small or large, to reduce overuse.

Participating hospitals get access to a wealth of resources, including a starter kit, webinars, and other supports, and can become designated “Choosing Wisely Canada hospitals.”

Overuse in My Hospital: Five Questions to Ask

Hospitals interested in being part of the campaign, but are not sure if they have an overuse problem are encouraged to ask themselves the five basic questions below.

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Starter Kit

Diving into Overuse in Hospitals: A Starter Kit for Reducing Unnecessary Tests and Treatments provides practical advice and guidance on implementing Choosing Wisely recommendations into hospital settings.  It was developed with the support of the Ontario Hospital Association and Health Quality Ontario as part of the Choosing Wisely Ontario campaign. However, the document is intended to be relevant to hospitals across Canada.

Upon implementation of this Starter Kit, and assuming all actions have been completed, hospitals can become designated “Choosing Wisely Canada Hospitals” (at either Levels 1, 2 or 3). These groups of hospitals will receive a certificate of completion, be recognized on the Choosing Wisely Canada website, and gain national profile for their leadership in tackling overuse. To receive the certificate of completion, please complete the checklist for each level, and send it to Choosing Wisely Canada.

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Webinar Series

Learn more about the campaign and launch of the new Starter Kit.

Diving into Overuse in Hospitals: Profiles