Be a Choosing Wisely Champion

“We need people on the ground to be involved,”
Daniel Wolfson, Executive Vice President and COO of the ABIM Foundation

“We need them to work with us to demonstrate and communicate to others their successes with the Choosing Wisely campaign.” To move forward on this goal, the ABIM Foundation recently announced a new component of the Choosing Wisely campaign—the Choosing Wisely Champions program, a national initiative to help recognize clinicians who are leading efforts to reduce overuse and waste in medicine. More than a dozen leading medical specialty societies, including AMDA—The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, committed to participate in the program.

The Society and others will identify clinicians, or teams of clinicians, whose work represents significant contributions to advancing the goals of the Choosing Wisely campaign by encouraging conversations about avoiding unnecessary care. These contributions could include creating an intervention to implement Choosing Wisely in their clinical practice, local initiatives to educate colleagues, or conducting measurement of the impact of the recommendations on patient care. The Society will recognize our Champions in various ways, including at the 2017 Annual Conference, and in publications such as Caring for the Ages and Weekly Round-up. “Through their stories of change, more clinicians will hear about ways to bring Choosing Wisely into practice and increase the number and quality of conversations they are having with patients about what tests and treatments are right for them,” said Wolfson. “We have framed the conversation around quality and better medical decisions. These resonate with everyone—patients and practitioners alike,” said Wolfson. Choosing Wisely is about more than education, he stressed. Maximizing quality of care involves education, quality improvement, and system changes, he said. The campaign’s information, tools, and resources can be part of all these efforts by starting conversations and triggering change.

“As we think about our health care system moving from volume to value, the whole Choosing Wisely campaign becomes much more relevant as part of informed, shared decision-making,” Wolfson said. The Champions Program will help share best practices and inspire more organizations and individuals to be involved and to prioritize discussions about treatments and interventions. “If we have these conversations, they will help build trust; and that is essential to good physician-patient relationships,” Wolfson noted.

“Organizations such as the Society have been an important part of the Choosing Wisely campaign. They put significant efforts into the how to engage people in conversations about care—important conversations that were lacking before,” said Wolfson. He stated that he looks forward to the Society’s—and its members’ involvement in the Champions Program.

First announced in December 2011, Choosing Wisely is part of a multi-year effort led by the ABIM Foundation to support and engage physicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources. The Society and other similar organizations are working with the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician’s role in helping patients make wise choices. To view the Society’s 10 recommendations and other resources related to Choosing Wisely, click here. For more information about Choosing Wisely, visit