Asking Better Questions Leads to Smarter Healthcare Choices


Choosing Wisely is a national campaign to help you and your doctors have important conversations about your healthcare and the pros and cons of too much care — or too little care.

Consumer Reports and the ABIM Foundation, the creators of Choosing Wisely, are working to encourage clinicians and patients to engage in more conversations about options in tests, treatments and procedures. These conversations can help increase the quality of your healthcare and decrease harm that is sometimes caused by overuse of medical testing and treatments.

Consumer Reports has created more than one hundred patient-friendly, easy-to-read and medically accurate Choosing Wisely materials to educate you about what care is best for you at that particular time, and when you may want to hold back. It all starts with the Choosing Wisely 5 Questions, listed below – consider taking them with you and trying them out next time you see your doctor.

  • Do I really need this test or procedure? Medical tests help you and your healthcare provider decide how to treat a problem. Medical procedures help to actually treat it.
  • What are the risks? Will there be side effects? What are the chances of getting results that aren’t accurate? Could that lead to more testing or another procedure?
  • Are there simpler, safer options? Sometimes all you need to do is make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods or exercising more.
  • What happens if I don’t do anything? Ask if your condition might get worse — or better — if you don’t have the test or procedure right away.
  • How much does it cost? Ask if there are less expensive tests, treatments or procedures, what your insurance may cover, and about generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs.


Choosing Wisely aims to promote conversations between patients and providers by helping patients choose care that is:

  • Supported by evidence
  • Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
  • Free from harm
  • Truly necessary

To help patients engage their health care provider in these conversations and empower them to ask questions about what tests and procedures are right for them, Consumer Reports has developed patient-friendly materials based on medical specialty societies’ lists of recommendations.


As you will see in your further exploration of this website and other Choosing Wisely websites, the amount of material available for your review can be somewhat overwhelming.  To help narrow your focus and provide a basic introduction to Choosing Wisely, the State of Rhode Island Department of Administration’s Office of Employee Benefits, the office which oversees operation of the state employee health plan, has chosen these materials.

Choosing Wisely Health Guides for Patients and Families


Choosing Wisely helps doctors and patients together avoid needless and even harmful procedures.

The links at left will lead you through our collection of brochures.

Choosing Wisely: Tests

Choosing Wisely: Imaging

Choosing Wisely: Drugs

Choosing Wisely: Procedures

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Choosing Wisely Video Collection

Our video collection reinforces the messages from Choosing Wisely and Best Buy Drugs. You can watch them here, share them, or view the entire collection.

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