Wisconsin Collaborative for Quality Healthcare

WCHQ to Partner with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and Monroe Clinic on New ABIM Foundation Grant Focusing on Reducing Overuse of Tests and Treatments Identified by Choosing Wisely® Campaign

Madison, WI - The ABIM Foundation recently announced the selection of seven initiatives, including the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), that will focus on reducing the use of tests and treatments that national medical specialty societies participating in Choosing Wisely have said are overused. The grant program, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will bring together health care organizations from across the country that have built strong multistakeholder alliances to focus on implementation of at least three Choosing Wisely recommendations, including reducing the use of antibiotics for viral infections by at least 20 percent over nearly three years at participating health systems, hospitals and medical groups in their regions.

Launched in April 2012, Choosing Wisely encourages clinicians and patients to discuss which medical tests and procedures may be unnecessary for their condition, and in some instances, can cause harm. To date, more than 100 national, regional and state medical specialty societies, health collaboratives and consumer groups have released more than 70 lists of tests or procedures they say are overused or inappropriate in their specialty, and that clinicians and patients should discuss.

“All health care is delivered locally. In order to put the Choosing Wisely ideas into practice and make a meaningful difference, we need local partners engaged in having these important conversations with their patients,” said Richard Baron, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the ABIM Foundation. “The strong partnerships that WCHQ has built in Wisconsin will help drive this work forward so that we can reduce waste and overuse in our nation’s health care system together.”

The focus on antibiotic overuse was driven by estimates from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that more than half the antibiotics used in the United States are prescribed unnecessarily or used improperly. To help educate physicians about the importance of reducing antibiotic overuse, several societies have included recommendations in their Choosing Wisely lists, including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Campaign partner Consumer Reports has also produced a number of patient-friendly resources about antibiotic overuse that are publicly available on its online ‘antibiotics hub’, which includes tools and resources covering a variety of situations patients may encounter.

WCHQ will lead an effort to reduce the utilization of antibiotics for viral infections in adults, imaging for low back pain, imaging for headaches and inpatient blood utilization. A past ABIM Foundation grantee in advancing Choosing Wisely, WCHQ will partner in this effort with provider organizations Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and Monroe Clinic, and the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians and the Wisconsin Medical Society.

“We are thrilled to partner with two health systems – Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and Monroe Clinic – and two state medical societies – the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians and Wisconsin Medical Society to reduce the utilization of tests and treatments discouraged by Choosing Wisely, while also influencing patient and clinician attitudes and behaviors” stated Judy Nowicki, quality improvement specialist for WCHQ.

This is the second grant that WCHQ has received from the ABIM Foundation to advance the Choosing Wisely campaign.

From 2013 – 2015, WHCQ was one of 21 organizations funded to educate physicians about the recommendations and build skills to have conversations with patients about the care they need.

For more information on WCHQ’s Choosing Wisely initiative, please contact Judy Nowicki at jnowicki@wchq.org.

About the ABIM Foundation:
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit www.abimfoundation.org, read the ABIM Foundation blog blog.abimfoundation.org or connect with the ABIM Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

About Choosing Wisely®:
First announced in December 2011, Choosing Wisely® is part of a multi-year effort led by the ABIM Foundation to support and engage clinicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources. Participating specialty societies are working with the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician’s role in helping patients make wise choices. Learn more by subscribing to the monthly Updates from the Field newsletter and by visiting ChoosingWisely.org.

Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality:
Founded in 2003, the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) is a voluntary, non-profit consortium of 40 organizations committed to using the public reporting of comparative measures of performance to catalyze improvements in the quality and affordability of healthcare in our state. To view our reports or to find out more about WCHQ, please visit our website www.wchq.org