The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia has welcomed Australia’s having joined Choosing Wisely, a global initiative that aims to reduce wasteful medical tests, treatments and procedures.
This initiative, coordinated in Australia by NPS MedicineWise, started with the release of lists of tests, treatments and procedures that clinicians and consumers should question the value of.
These lists of low value tests and procedures have been developed by medical organisations, with the aim to facilitate conversations between clinicians and their patients regarding appropriate and necessary treatment.
The SHPA says it supports the initiative, whose goal is for clinicians to scrutinise the evidence and change their practice accordingly, and focus on appropriate and high quality evidence-based care.
Four of the recommendations from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners relate to medicines so there is an important role for pharmacists, SHPA says.
Their recommendations include advice about proton pump inhibitors; treating hypertension and hyperlipidaemia; benzodiazepines; and glucose monitoring in type 2 diabetes.
“SHPA strongly supports evidence-based decision making so we are very supportive of the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative,” says SHPA Federal President Professor Michael Dooley.
“Reinforcing the evidence base and improving the quality use of medicines is the cornerstone of pharmacy practice in hospitals.
“Pharmacists have a vital role in this initiative – in having conversations with patients and with prescribers when evidence does not support the use of a medicine.“
Consumers are also vital to the success of Choosing Wisely, says SHPA.
To help them, Choosing Wisely Australia has also released a list of five questions that consumers should ask their doctor before they have any test, treatment or procedure, including
- do I really need this?
- what are the risks?
- what other options are there?
- what if I don’t do anything? and
- how much does it cost?