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Quality Improvement

Choosing Wisely Ontario

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Helping reduce unnecessary tests and treatments

Choosing Wisely Ontario is a campaign to help clinicians and patients talk about unnecessary tests and treatments.

It is part of the broader Choosing Wisely Canada campaign, which has developed over 300 recommendations for tests and treatments that clinicians and patients should question.

Over 70 health care organizations nationally have already taken steps to put many of these recommendations into practice. 

The focus of Choosing Wisely Ontario - led by Health Quality Ontario and Choosing Wisely Canada - is to encourage widespread adoption of these recommendations across Ontario’s hospitals, primary care clinics and long-term care homes, and to provide tools and supports in several high priority areas.

Choosing Wisely Ontario is guided by a steering committee (see members below) consisting of frontline clinicians, patients and organizations in Ontario representing hospital care, primary care and long-term care.

Key resources currently available from Choosing Wisely Canada are featured in the links below:


The Choosing Wisely Ontario Steering Committee has identified several priority areas. These include:

  • Blood transfusions

  • Benzodiazepine use

  • Preoperative testing

  • Imaging for low back pain


In the coming months, tools and resources in support of these priorities will be available to:

  • Help hospital leaders identify simple changes to encourage a culture of choosing wisely

  • Support long-term care and primary care sectors to implement Choosing Wisely recommendations

  • Support the incorporation of customized indicators in quality improvement plans

A Starter Kit for Hospitals

In addition, a new campaign, Diving Into Overuse in Hospitals calls on all hospitals to implement Choosing Wisely recommendations that help reduce unnecessary testing and treatments in a number of ways.

Health Quality Ontario partnered with Choosing Wisely Canada and the Ontario Hospital Association to launch the campaign.

We have developed a starter kit with practical advice and guidance, and are hosting a webinar, to help hospitals have conversations with their patients about choosing wisely when it comes to tests and treatments.

Stay tuned for more information about an additional webinar series discussing the different levels outlined in the toolkit.

If you have any questions about Choosing Wisely Ontario or want to learn more about how to get involved, please email us at


The Health Quality Ontario blog discusses the 2018 Choosing Wisely Canada conference and the progress made.

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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.

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


Highlights on how health care providers successfully adopted recommendations to reduce unnecessary medical procedures while still delivering quality care to patients across the province.

Read how clinicians led the way to better care.

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