Tests, treatments, and procedures for healthcare providers and consumers to question
Australia's peak health professional colleges, societies and associations have developed lists of recommendations of the tests, treatments, and procedures that healthcare providers and consumers should question.
Each recommendation is based on the latest available evidence. Importantly, they are not prescriptive but are intended as guidance to start a conversation about what is appropriate and necessary.
As each situation is unique, healthcare providers and consumers should use the recommendations to collaboratively formulate an appropriate healthcare plan together.
Australasian Chapter of Addiction MedicineVisit page
Do not undertake elective withdrawal management in the absence of a post-withdrawal treatment plan agreed with the patient that addresses their substance use and related health issues.
Do not prescribe pharmacotherapies as stand-alone treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUD) but rather as part of a broader treatment plan that identifies goals of treatment, incorporates psychosocial interventions and identifies how outcomes will be monitored
Do not deprescribe or stop opioid treatment in a patient with concurrent chronic pain and opioid dependence without considering the impact on morbidity and mortality from discontinuation of opioid medications
While managing patients with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), exercise caution in the use of treatment approaches that are not supported by current evidence or involve unlicensed therapeutic products.
Use a 'universal precautions' approach for all psychoactive medications that have known potential or liability for abuse including opioids, benzodiazepines, antipsychotic medications, gabapentinoids, cannabinoids and psychostimulants.
Through the RACP Evolve program, the Chapter Committee of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction developed a draft Evolve Top-5 Recommendations of low-value practices and interventions that pertain to the specialty. After several rounds of internal consultations and revisions, the list of recommendations was subject to an extensive review process that involved key College societies with an interest or professional engagement with addiction medicine.
The list was then consulted with other medical colleges including through Choosing Wisely Australia. The recommendations were also reviewed by the College’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee to ensure that the list adequately reflects the health needs of Indigenous Australians with substance use disorders.
Feedback received in the consultations led to further fine tuning of the list, which was then finalised and approved by the AChAM President and President-Elect.
The Royal Australian College of General PractitionersVisit page
Recommendations 1 - 5 (April 2015)
All RACGP members were invited, and five GPs selected, to join the Choosing Wisely panel. They raised 28 issues, researched these and voted on a shortlist of 10. The voting for this shortlist was based on the amount of supporting evidence available, the degree of importance for patients, and the frequency of the test or treatment being used by Australian GPs. Opinion from the entire College membership was then sought via online survey, to choose five of the shortlisted 10. Additional free-text comment was encouraged, with good response rates. This national vote determined the final five topics.
Following an NPS Representatives meeting, two on that list were found to duplicate other Colleges' choices, and it was felt the RACGP could endorse these rather than replicate them. Therefore the next two highest voted options were selected instead.
Recommendations 6-10 (March 2016)
The RACGP Working Group established for Wave 1 of Choosing Wisely identified 32 candidate topics for Wave 2, then shortlisted fifteen, spread across four categories – screening, imaging, pathology and treatment. The shortlisting criteria were: quality of supporting evidence; importance for patients; and number of Australian GPs using the test or treatment. A dedicated workshop was held at the RACGP Annual Scientific Meeting, ‘GP15’, and the entire RACGP membership was asked to vote for their ‘top five’ via online survey. Additional free-text comment was encouraged, with good response rates. The top five topics from this national vote were written up by the Working Group and reviewed by the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care.