Choosing Wisely: ASH Releases 2nd Annual Patient Best Practice List

American Society of Hematology

Last year the American Society of Hematology (ASH) published its inaugural Choosing Wisely® list, a set of five patient-friendly recommendations when considering disease management and treatment options. Last week at its annual conference in San Francisco, ASH again released another five recommendations for hematology patients and providers, bringing the total to 10.

Published in the journal Blood, 2 of the 10 evidence-based society recommendations deal with appropriate medical imaging usage and therefore will be relevant to some ImageInbox® users. 

These suggestions by ASH are important to help make wise decisions about the most appropriate care based on a persons' individual situation. Armed with this information, providers and patients can better discuss the cost vs. benefit of the medical intervention. Citing exposure of patients to small doses of radiation with inadequate clinical benefit, both recommendations by ASH are regarding CT scans for clinical observation. 

Suggestion 5:
Limit surveillance computed tomography (CT) scans in asymptomatic patients following curative-intent treatment for aggressive lymphoma.

Suggestion 8:
Don’t perform baseline or routine surveillance computed tomography (CT) scans in patients with asymptomatic, early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The Choosing Wisely ASH Task Force also cited how CT scans can detect incidental findings that are not clinically relevant, leading to unnecessary procedures and wasted healthcare system costs.  

According to their website, Choosing Wisely® is led by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (ABIM) to support and engage physicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources.

Participating specialty societies are working with the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician's role in helping patients make wise choices. 

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