February 20, 2013, — The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) has joined the ABIM Foundation and 37 other specialty societies as part of Choosing Wisely, an effort to reduce inappropriate tests and procedures to improve care. This initiative aims to spark conversations about appropriate care between physicians and patients to help physicians provide the right care at the right time for the right patient.
Choosing Wisely first launched with nine specialty society partners in April 2012. Based on its initial success, the ASE and other specialty groups have each been invited to release a list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” at a national event in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21, 2013. ASE will be releasing its list of recommendations, which were selected after careful review of current evidence and clinical guidelines. Each list includes language communicating when a particular test or treatment may be appropriate based on clinical evidence and guidelines.
James Thomas, the Charles and Lorraine Moore chair in Cardiovascular Imaging at the Cleveland Clinic, past president of ASE and its Choosing Wisely spokesperson, states, “The American Society of Echocardiography recognizes the great value that echocardiography brings to clinical medicine, allowing complex diagnoses to be established with a safe, noninvasive, and cost-effective test that involves no ionizing radiation and can go to a patient’s bedside and into environments as remote as the International Space Station. At the same time, we know that there are many situations in which an echo should not be done, as when the pretest probability of disease is so low that any positive finding is more likely to be a false positive than not. The ASE fully supports the ABIM Foundation’s efforts in educating the public and practitioners in the appropriate use of echocardiography.”
While ASE has taken a bold step in identifying and developing the list, the work does not stop here. Over the coming months and years, ASE will be working with the ABIM Foundation, Consumer Reports and a variety of Choosing Wisely campaign stakeholders to raise awareness of these lists and make them accessible to patients and the public.