Choosing Wisely Canada is a campaign to help clinicians and patients
engage in conversations about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures.

Recent News

Unnecessary Care in Canada: a CIHI & CWC Joint Report Released

A new report Unnecessary Care in Canada, released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Choosing Wisely Canada, finds that up to 30% of selected medical tests, treatments and procedures in Canada are potentially unnecessary and that Canadians have more than one million potentially unnecessary medical tests and treatments every year. The report, released today – April 6th, uses data to measure the extent of unnecessary care associated with 8 tests and procedures that span the health system. Unnecessary tests and treatments waste health system resources, increase wait times for patients in need and can lead to patient harm.

This report also details success stories — from national- and facility-level organizations as well as from individual clinicians across the country — of using the recommendations to identify and reduce unnecessary care.

Highlights from the report include the following:

  1. Almost 1 in 3 low-risk patients with minor head trauma in Ontario and Alberta had a head scan in an emergency department, despite a Choosing Wisely Canada recommendation that this is unnecessary and potentially harmful.
  1. 1 in 10 seniors in Canada use a benzodiazepine on a regular basis to treat insomnia, agitation or delirium.A number of Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations highlight the harms of long-term use of these medications.
  1. In Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 18% to 35% of patients undergoing low-risk surgery had a preoperative test, such as a chest X-ray, ECG or cardiac stress test. Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations highlight that these tests are unnecessary, are potentially harmful and can delay surgery.
  1. For children and youth in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, the rates of low-dose quetiapine (likely used to treat insomnia) increased rapidly to 186 per 100,000 in 2013–2014 from 104 in 2008–2009.Choosing Wisely Canada recommends against the use of this medication in children and youth to treat insomnia.

View the report in its entirety here.

In case you missed it, CIHI and Choosing Wisely Unnecessary Care in Canada webinar recording is available here.

Ontario Clinicians Deliver Quality Care by Reducing Unnecessary Care: New Report

When it comes to medical tests and procedures, less can sometimes be better.

According to a new report released this week, Ontario health care providers are successfully working to provide and improve quality care by reducing unnecessary care to patients across Ontario.

Released by Health Quality Ontario and Choosing Wisely Canada, the report, Spotlight on Leaders of Change: Implementing Choosing Wisely Canada Recommendations in Ontario to Improve Quality of Care, includes examples of successful programs implemented by clinical leaders to address unnecessary care in hospitals, primary and long-term care settings.

To learn more about the Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations being implemented by Ontario’s clinical community, read the full report.

The Royal College’s 2017 ASPIRE Courses: Quebec City & Ottawa

We are pleased to announce the next offerings of the Royal College’s ASPIRE facultyFlyer_ ASPIRE Workshops_2017_ENG_v2 development certificate program, developed in partnership with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Choosing Wisely Canada. Two workshops will be held on:

  • May 29 – 31, in Quebec City at Université Laval  (French)
  • November 28 – December 1, in Ottawa (English)

ASPIRE is an immersive, four-day national train-the-trainer program for medical educators, physicians and residents interested in educating others about patient safety, quality improvement (QI) and/or resource stewardship. Upon completion of the 4-day program, participants leave with an educational plan in hand. Many past participants have successfully implemented their educational plan within 6 months of returning home.

Given that patient safety, QI and resource stewardship competencies have been explicitly integrated throughout the new CanMEDS 2015 physician competency framework, ASPIRE addresses a critical need by helping institutions to implement patient safety, quality improvement and/or resource stewardship training and curricula locally.

For more information or to register visit the ASPIRE Website. If you have any questions, please contact Ginette Bourgeois ( or toll-free at 1-800-668-3740, ext. 590.

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