Choosing Wisely focuses on antibiotics misuse

The effort to preserve antibiotics just got a big boost. With Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funding, the Choosing Wisely campaign is backing seven regional efforts that include reining in misuse of these precious life-saving drugs.

The seven initiatives will each receive a grant of $315,000 to advance Choosing Wisely and include:

Greater Detroit Area Health Council –The Greater Detroit Area Health Council will work with the Michigan State Medical Society, the Detroit Medical Center Physician Hospital, The Henry Ford Physician Network and other partners to reduce unnecessary care in the Detroit region. The Council will focus on reducing the use of antibiotics for viral infections among adults, diagnostic testing for low back pain, and screening for Vitamin D deficiencies.

Integrated Healthcare Association – California’s Integrated Healthcare Association will partner with provider organizations Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (San Diego County) and Sutter Health (Sacramento/Central Valley/San Francisco Bay), the California chapter of the American College of Physicians, the Center for Healthcare Decisions, and Blue Shield of California. Their project will aim to reduce the utilization of antibiotics for adult bronchitis, diagnostic testing for low back pain, pre-operative stress testing, imaging for uncomplicated headache and repetitive complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry testing.

Maine Quality Counts – Maine Quality Counts (MQC) will work with local partners and statewide organizations such as the Maine Medical Association, the Maine Osteopathic Association, Consumers for Affordable Healthcare, Maine Area Agencies on Aging, Mid Coast Health System, Martin’s Point Health Care, Penobscot Community Health Care and St. Joseph Healthcare system. A previous ABIM Foundation Choosing Wisely grantee, MQC’s project will focus on reducing the use of antibiotics for adult bronchitis, diagnostic testing for low back pain, and prescriptions for benzodiazepines for adults 60 and over.

North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance – The North Carolina Healthcare Quality Alliance is partnering with the North Carolina Medical Society, Duke Medicine, Cornerstone Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees. They will focus on reducing the use of antibiotics to treat viral infections in adults, DEXA scans to measure bone density in women younger than 65 and men younger than 70, carotid artery stenosis screening in asymptomatic patients, and annual Pap tests for women between the ages of 30 and 65.

UCLA Department of Medicine – The UCLA Department of Medicine will lead a coalition of six partners including the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC DHS), the LA County Department of Public Health, the LAC DHS Primary Care Practice Based Research Network, The Wellness Center at Historic General Hospital, and the Society of General Internal Medicine. The partners will focus on reducing imaging for nonspecific low back pain, pre-operative testing, and antibiotics for viral-based upper respiratory illness.

Washington Health Alliance – The Washington Health Alliance, a previous ABIM Foundation Choosing Wisely grantee, will continue to partner with the Washington State Medical Association, another Foundation grantee, and provider organizations including the Group Health Cooperative and Swedish Health Services. They will target the overuse of antibiotics for upper respiratory viral infections, imaging for uncomplicated headaches and overly frequent Pap tests for women between the ages of 30 and 65.

Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality – The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) will lead an effort to reduce the utilization of antibiotics for viral infections in adults, imaging for low back pain, imaging for headaches and inpatient blood utilization. A past ABIM Foundation partner in advancing Choosing Wisely, WCHQ will partner in this effort with provider organizations Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and Monroe Clinic, and the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians and the Wisconsin Medical Society.

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