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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


Choosing Wisely: An Idea Worth Spreading is a collaborative, ARTIC supported project that is reducing unnecessary medical tests and treatments by empowering patients with the right information to make decisions about their care.

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Todd Sikorski

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