News at Medicine - October 2016 - Talking about the right treatment at the right time

Talking about the right treatment at the right time
October 6, 2016
Lynn Wade knows firsthand how medical testing works. Both as a new cancer survivor and having worked in health care for many years.

Wade is also on the Patient Advisory Council for NL SUPPORT, a program within Memorial University’s Translational

Patient Advisory Council member Lynn Wade speaks at the launch of Choosing Wisely NL
and Personalised Medicine Initiative (TPMI); the goal of which is to determine the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. Wade was looking for a volunteer opportunity; one in which she could apply both her professional and personal experiences. Her interest was sparked when she saw an ad for patient representatives for the Patient Advisory Council. Once a member she applied to be a patient representative on the TPMI steering committee and from there became involved in Choosing Wisely NL
Choosing Wisely NL, a branch of Choosing Wisely Canada, is a campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments and make smart and effective choices to ensure high quality care. It officially launched on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 at a news conference at the Faculty of Medicine.
The program has identified that as much as 30 per cent of health care in Canada is unnecessary, over 30 per cent of long-term care residents in Canada are taking antipsychotic drugs, without a diagnosis of psychosis, and 70 per cent of medical diagnoses can be determined by your medical history alone, without needing any tests.
“As a former director of laboratories and as a medical laboratory technologist I was always aware of unnecessary testing/procedures and the associated costs, both from a financial and a patient safety and care perspective,” explained Wade. “With the cost of health care at an unsustainable level in our Province and across Canada, Choosing Wisely NL is a good start, engaging physicians as well as patients to make good decisions. Involving patients to assist in the advocacy for this initiative can hopefully enable more discussions between physicians and their patients about appropriate testing/procedures.”
Dr. Patrick Parfrey is the chief scientific officer for TPMI. He says Choosing Wisely is a unique program “in that it is clinician led with a bottom up approach to treatment and it is focused on common clinical conditions. It also involves both primary care providers and specialists, and across Canada the program has had remarkably rapid uptake.”
“The right patient should receive the right test, at the right time, resulting in less waiting, less unnecessary invasive procedures and less stress and worry for patients,” added Wade. “As a new cancer survivor, I am more acutely aware of the importance of timely, appropriate, evidence-based testing for patients. Resources at not infinite and health care resources must be used wisely.
The TPMI, which started in January 2015, has initiated numerous Quality of Care projects aimed at improved resource utilization. These projects were identified by the Regional Health Authorities, researchers and members of the public as areas where interventions were needed. Choosing Wisely NL is the program by which the research findings from the Quality of Care research agenda will be implemented. By using current utilization patterns to inform the particular targets for intervention and research from Choosing Wisely Canada to provide evidence to support the interventions, Choosing Wisely NL will use behaviour change strategies to optimize health care practitioner practice.
For more information, visit: