Dr Walker says Choosing Wisely Australia has launched a campaign with lists of low value tests or treatments from five medical bodies including the Royal Australian College of GPs, Pathologists, the [Australian College of] Emergency Medicine, Radiologists and Immunologists.
Regarding Vitamin D tests, Dr Walker says there is a strong link between low Vitamin D and common cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, MS and Type II Diabetes. He says blood screens are not necessary more than once every five years, more frequently if on statins, noting the College of GPs says statins are overprescribed, costing Australia $1.1b. Walker says long term statin use can damage muscles and the liver, while new data shows an increased risk for diabetes.
Regarding whether GPs are going over the top on tests in order to bulk bill Medicare, Walker says it there is no financial advantages for GPs to order tests, adding doctors are mindful if they miss something they can be sued.
Stewardship toolkit for clinical educators
The Health Resource Stewardship for Clinical educators contains educational material about the Choosing Wisely initiative for use in universities, hospitals and health professional colleges
5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider to make sure you end up with the right amount of care.