Skip to main content

Quality Improvement

Choosing Wisely: An Idea Worth Spreading


Some medical care may be unnecessary or fail to add value. This point was recently demonstrated by North York General Hospital when it implemented Choosing Wisely Canada’s recommendations and successfully reduced lab testing by more than 33% in their pre-operative clinic and emergency department. Toronto East Health Network also successfully reduced urine culture testing in its emergency department by 17%.

These early adopters demonstrated great success and with support from ARTIC, Choosing Wisely is spreading.

Its recommendations on reducing unnecessary medical treatments are now being adopted by the Joint Centres for Transformative Health Care Innovation (Markham Stouffville Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre [Toronto] and Southlake Regional Health Centre) and several associated primary care teams who serve those communities and are in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine.

Implementation tool kits also will be developed for the Joint Centres’ emergency departments and pre-operative clinics, and also shared for broader spread and sustainability with other health care organizations across Ontario and Canada.

Launched in 2014 in partnership with the Canadian Medical Association, Choosing Wisely Canada is a campaign to ensure high quality care by helping physicians and patients have conversations about potentially unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures.


Related media:

News Release: "ARTIC Program Announces Newest Project: Choosing Wisely – An Idea Worth Spreading" (April 7, 2016)

The Globe and Mail: "When it comes to tests, more is not always better" (April 5, 2016)


For more information about ARTIC, please email us at ARTIC@HQOntario.ca.


Hear how the right information is empowering patients

Choosing Wisely: An Idea Worth Spreading is a collaborative, ARTIC supported spread project that is empowering patients and families to make informed choices about their care.

The project reduces unnecessary medical care by implementing hospital-relevant recommendations across the Joint Centres for Transformative Health Care Innovation.

Hear Todd’s story   Hear Sharon’s story
Todd Sikorski

Let’s make our health system healthier

Join Our Patient, Family and Public Advisors Program

Patients, families and the public are central to improving health quality.


Claude Lurette and Kowsiya Vijayartnam, Health Quality Ontario Patient, Family and Caregiver Advisors Council Co-Chairs

Sign up for our newsletter

Are you passionate about quality health care for all Ontarians? Stay in-the-know about our newest programs, reports and news.

Health Quality Connect - Health Quality Ontario's newsletter - on an iPad and a cell phone