Using Health Care Resources Wisely in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous pressures on the capacity of health care systems and providers to continue to deliver care. In these challenging times, stewardship of limited resources is critical.

Choosing Wisely Canada has developed tools and resources that can help support efforts to use health care resources wisely given the urgent care needs and constraints related to COVID-19.

The Cold Standard
A Toolkit for Using Antibiotics Wisely in the Era of COVID-19 and Virtual Care

Many primary care clinics have increased the adoption of virtual care due to the inability of providing in-person assessment. As primary care providers adjust to these changes, emerging challenges exist in how to manage respiratory tract infections (RTIs) including when to test, when to prescribe antibiotics, and when to see a patient in-person.

Choosing Wisely Canada, in partnership with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, has released the second edition of The Cold Standard to address the management of RTIs with considerations of COVID-19 and virtual care. This practical toolkit provides three clinical tools that can support both virtual and in-person management of RTIs this cold and flu season.

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Using Blood Wisely
Conserving Canada's Blood Supply

Blood is a vital and limited health care resource.

Inappropriate transfusion practices are common in hospitals. Not only does this put significant strains on Canada’s blood supply, but it also exposes patients to potential harm. Using Blood Wisely is a national campaign to decrease inappropriate red blood cell transfusion practices in Canada. Hospitals are encouraged to take the challenge to see how they compare to national appropriateness benchmarks and receive national recognition for their blood stewardship efforts.

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Not Necessary.
Policy Ideas for Limiting Low-Value Care in Canada

In September 2020, Choosing Wisely Canada released five policy ideas to address in the short, medium, and long-term to limit low-value care in Canada during the pandemic and beyond. The document draws on the campaigns’ grassroots clinician leadership and evidence-based recommendations to offer policy ideas. These ideas include ways for decision-makers to use available levers—incentives, system design and investments—to thoughtfully affect the state of low-value care and help ensure that health care resources are used wisely.

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