Although the stated aim of the campaign is to improve the quality and safety of patient care, Dr. Cox said that early in the development process there was concern that the lists could potentially be misperceived to be about, or to lead to, rationing care. Dr. Cox emphasized, however, that the campaign is about wiser use of the care and resources currently available.
Explore This IssueJune 2012
Getting the Word Out
Consumer Reports is working with the ABIM Foundation and specialty societies to get the word out to the public. As part of that effort, easy-to-read summaries describing specific tests or procedures identified by each specialty are being created to help educate patients. A summary on treating sinusitis, for example, has already been posted to the Consumer Reports’ website (consumerreports.org). Additional summaries are in the works and will be posted in both English and Spanish.
As of the April campaign launch, 11 consumer-oriented organizations have signed on to help educate patients on making wise decisions about their health care based on currently published specialty lists.
Dr. Boyer said this emphasis on patient education will help physicians reduce the prescription of common but unnecessary tests or procedures. “What I like about this campaign is that the focus is on educating patients and not just physicians,” she said. “It is a two-way street between physician and patient, and if the patient is aware of some of these things, it will make the conversation we have with them more effective.”