National campaign aims to reduce unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures
OAKVILLE, ON, April 2, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Radiologists (OAR) strongly supports the Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) campaign, launched today by the Canadian Medical Association. CWC is a campaign that encourages physicians and patients to engage in healthy conversations ensuring access to medically necessary tests, treatments and procedures, and to help them make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality patient care. The campaign is modelled after the Choosing Wisely® campaign in the United States, which was launched in April 2012.
"The OAR has long recognized the critical role of patient and physician dialogue when it comes to making smart decisions to ensure high quality care," says OAR President, Dr. Mark Prieditis. "It is imperative to evaluate the criteria for choosing the appropriateness and effectiveness of all diagnostic imaging tests."
The CWC is led by eight national medical societies, including the Canadian Association of Radiology (CAR), to develop lists of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question." These lists identify tests, treatments or procedures that are not supported by evidence, and/or could unnecessarily cause patients to be exposed to radiation.
The five areas that were addressed by CAR include:
- Criteria for lower back pain
- Minor head trauma
- Uncomplicated headache
- CT for appendicitis in children
- Ankle x-rays in adults
The lists are meant to remind referring physician colleagues and patients to determine an appropriate treatment plan together. A complete list of recommendations is available at choosingwiselycanada.org.
"While we are supportive of the CWC and its recommendations, the OAR continues to work to ensure high quality patient care and to advocate for improved patient access to a broad range of imaging technologies," adds Dr. Prieditis. "We remain deeply concerned that the Ontario Ministry of Health has chronically underfunded the purchase and operation of full-field digital mammography (FFDM) equipment, which is the best diagnostic equipment to detect breast cancer."
Ontario still lags behind the rest of Canada in its adoption of digital mammography services, an issue that the OAR first addressed in 2010. FFDM equipment, with its capability of adding breast tomosynthesis (a method for performing higher resolution imaging) has proven to detect up to 30 per cent more cancers when used to screen women for breast cancer. The OAR recommends that all women consult with their physicians regarding regular breast screening, at the age of 40.
In addition to advocating for improved breast screening in Ontario, the OAR is actively working towards the re-launch of its Canadian Bone Mineral Densitometry (CBMD) Facility Accreditation Program. The popular four-year pilot project, launched in 2009, was put on hold in 2013 when the MOHLTC abruptly terminated its funding and commitment to provide accreditation as part of the province's Osteoporosis Strategy. The OAR is currently restructuring the project as an online program that will be launched in 2015.
About the Ontario Association of Radiologists
The Ontario Association of Radiologists (OAR) is a non-profit, voluntary professional association that represents more than 1,000 radiologists working in hospitals and community clinics in Ontario. Radiologists are highly trained medical doctors who specialize in the use of imaging techniques in the study, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Established in 1949, the OAR has taken an active leadership role in promoting the specialty and has contributed to the advancement of technology in diagnostic imaging procedures in the medical community and health care system. The OAR is an advocate for high quality patient care with regard to both the diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology services provided in Ontario's publicly funded hospitals and community-based imaging clinics located across the province.
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Radiologists
For further information:
or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Ontario Association of Radiologists