Choosing Wisely Australia launch: Dr Sally McCarthy
DR SALLY McCARTHY:
The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine is really very excited about this initiative because it really supports and reinforces what we've been conscious of for a long time, which is that performing inappropriate tests and procedures in emergency departments is really wasting time, wasting resources.
It shouldn't be underestimated how us all getting together and hopefully more of our colleagues as this gains momentum, how powerful it will be in better directing resources and improving care for patients. For our patients, there's a clear benefit.
First of all, they won't be subjected to unnecessary tests and procedures. As we know, all tests and procedures have side effects or unwanted adverse consequences, so if you didn't need the test or procedure in the first place, don't have it because of the risk of harm. We need to focus on what's just right for the patient so that we can give them the right care and then move on and see the next patient.
ACEM has chosen head CT scans for patients with minor traumatic injuries as our top test, and the reason we have chosen head CTs is because we know it's a very common presentation to emergency departments, of patients having very minor head injuries come to ED a lot.
We know that there are very good guidelines to guide our test ordering, which are being well validated in large populations, and which we should all be using to identify higher risk patients who will need testing.