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.
Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood TransfusionVisit page
Do not order a group and crossmatch when a group and antibody screen would be appropriate.
Do not transfuse more units of blood than necessary.
Do not transfuse standard doses of fresh frozen plasma to correct a mildly elevated (<1.8) international normalized ratio prior to a procedure.
Do not transfuse red blood cells for iron deficiency where there is no haemodynamic instability.
Do not use peri-operative transfusion for otherwise reversible anaemia prior to elective surgery.
As part of the Evolve program, the RACP Policy and Advocacy team has worked with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) to develop and finalise this Evolve Top-5 list of low-value care that pertains to the specialty.
Per usual processes, the list of low value practices was first identified by the ANZSBT Council and condensed to the top-5 recommendations, through a membership survey, extensive research and rounds of redrafting under the guidance of the ANZSBT Council. The list was subjected to an extensive review and consultation process that involved RACP-affiliated specialty societies and other key colleges via the Choosing Wisely program. Feedback from the consultation has been integrated into the top-5 recommendations by the ANZSBT and approved by its Council in December 2021.
Version 1 published January 2022.
The Thoracic Society of Australia and New ZealandVisit page
In 2018 The Royal Australasian College of Physicians worked with a Lead Fellow nominated by The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) to review evidence for 12 paediatric thoracic recommendations on low-value care in paediatric thoracic medicine. These recommendations were the subject of email discussions and deliberation by members of the Paediatric Special Interest Group (SIG) of the TSANZ. They were further discussed at a workshop held at a meeting of the Asia Pacific Society of Respirology in 2017, which included TSANZ members. Based on the feedback provided at this workshop and through email discussions with members of the SIG, four were removed and two of the original 12 were considered for inclusion in the final recommendations with overwhelming support. Members of the Paediatric SIG were then invited to choose three out of the remaining six through an email based poll. This served as the basis for final recommendations, which were further refined and developed through successive drafts based on the input of the Lead Fellow, the results of consultation with other specialty groups and the views of the TSANZ Board.
In 2020 TSANZ worked with RACP’s Policy & Advocacy team as part of the Evolve program to develop a long list of low-value practices and interventions that pertain to the specialty. Through extensive research and redrafting under the guidance of the TSANZ Central Office and members of the TSANZ Board, the list was condensed to the top-5 recommendations for reducing low-value practices in adult thoracic medicine. 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 in or professional engagement with thoracic medicine.
Per usual processes, the recommendations were then consulted with other medical colleges through Choosing Wisely Australia. Feedback received in the consultations led to further work and refinements by Policy & Advocacy and TSANZ, which approved these top-5 recommendations.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of RadiologistsVisit page
- Don’t request duplex compression ultrasound for suspected lower limb deep venous thrombosis in ambulatory outpatients unless the Wells Score (deep venous thrombosis risk assessment score) is greater than 2, OR if less than 2, D dimer assay is positive.
Don’t request any diagnostic testing for suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) unless indicated by Wells Score (or Charlotte Rule) followed by PE Rule-out Criteria (in patients not pregnant). Low risk patients in whom diagnostic testing is indicated should have PE excluded by a negative D dimer, not imaging.
Clinical radiology recommendations 1-6 (April 2015)
A team of five Lead Radiologists were nominated to guide RANZCR's Choosing Wisely contribution. These Lead Radiologists analysed previous work completed by RANZCR, in particular a series of Education Modules for Appropriate Imaging Referrals.
These modules had been developed from an extensive evidence base and with multiple stakeholder input. Using the evidence from the Education Modules, the Lead Radiologists developed a draft recommendations list, which was then further developed and endorsed by RANZCR's Quality and Safety Committee, before being circulated to the RANZCR membership for consultation with a request for alternative recommendations. Member feedback was reviewed by the Lead Radiologists prior to ratification of the final recommendations by the Faculty of Clinical Radiology Council. The final six items selected were those that were felt to meet the goals of Choosing Wisely, i.e. those which are frequently requested or which might expose patients to unnecessary radiation.
Due to the fundamental role of diagnostic imaging in supporting diagnosis across the healthcare system, RANZCR worked closely with other Colleges throughout the project via the Advisory Panel. Following identification of two common recommendations with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, it was agreed by both Colleges to present these items jointly.
Radiation oncology recommendations 7-10 (September 2021)
Recommendations relating to radiation oncology from the Choosing Wisely and Choosing Wisely Canada were circulated around the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council to determine which recommendations were applicable to the Australian and New Zealand context. The selected recommendations were then put to the Quality Improvement and Economics and Workforce Committees, with each being asked to rank the recommendations. The five highest ranked recommendations were then put to the radiation oncology membership for consultation prior to being formally approved by the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council. Recommendations 7-10 are adapted from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2013 and 2014 lists. Recommendation 11 is adapted from Choosing Wisely Canada’s Oncology list. Each organisation was approached for—and subsequently granted—approval to adapt these recommendations as part of the Choosing Wisely Australia campaign.
This initial list has now been reviewed with recommendations 7, 8 & 10 remaining unchanged, recommendation 9 has been updated based on the advice of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Quality Improvement Committee and Recommendation 11 has been replaced based on the feedback of the Quality Improvement Committee and the Policy and Advocacy team.
Haematology Society of Australia and New ZealandVisit page
- Do not perform baseline or routine surveillance CT scans or bone marrow biopsy in patients with asymptomatic early stage chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
- Do not treat patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in the absence of bleeding or a platelet count <30,000/L without risk factors for bleeding.
- Do not extend anticoagulation beyond 3 months for a patient with a non-extensive, index venous thromboembolic event (VTE), which occurred in the setting of a major, transient risk factor
- Limit surveillance computed tomography (CT) scans in asymptomatic patients with confirmed complete remission following curative intent treatment for aggressive lymphoma – except for patients on a clinical trial
Do not conduct thrombophilia testing in adult patients under the age of 50 years unless the first episode of venous thromboembolism (VTE):
- occurs in the absence of a major transient risk factors (surgery, trauma, immobility),
- occurs in the absence of oestrogen-provocation,
- occurs at an unusual site
- occurs in the absence of a major transient risk factors (surgery, trauma, immobility),
The Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ) council, which includes 9 state representatives, convened to form the working group to produce a ‘top 5’ list for haematology.
Drawing on the list produced by the American and Canadian Societies of Haematology, the working group compiled a list of 5 clinical practices in haematology which may be overused, inappropriate or of limited effectiveness in a given clinical context.
This list was then sent out to all HSANZ members seeking feedback on whether these items fully captured the concerns of clinicians in an Australasian haematology medicine context and if not, whether any items should be omitted and/or new items added.
The criteria used to rate the practices were strength of evidence, significance in haematology and whether haematologists could make a difference in influencing the incidence of the practice in question.
Feedback on the items and the recommendations was received from 11 institutional haematology departments (following intradepartmental consultation) as well as an additional 10 individuals.
Based on these responses, the top 5 items were selected and finalised.