Ambulatory Clinics in Georgia Reduce Unnecessary Tests with Adherence to "Choosing Wisely" Recommendations

December 5, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A multipronged approach to reduce the ordering of unnecessary tests by physician practices contributed to a sustained reduction in the use of these tests, such as complete blood counts (CBCs) and electrocardiograms (EKGs) for routine screening during physical examinations, according to a study in the December 2018 Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. The researchers describe an initiative at 25 ambulatory care clinics operated by Kaiser Permanente's Georgia region to adopt recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign to reduce unnecessary tests and treatments. The clinics serve 300,000 patients. During a four-year period, the clinics targeted overuse of four tests: CBCs and EKGs as routine screening tests, age-inappropriate dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans, and imaging for uncomplicated headache.

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