"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

2018 Annual Seminar Highlight: Choosing Wisely

At our 2018 Annual Seminar, MNCM President Julie Sonier sat down with Executive Vice President and COO of ABIM Foundation Daniel Wolfson to discuss the Choosing Wisely campaign and the progress it has made in reducing low-value care.

The Power of Conversation

Since its launch in 2012, the power of conversation has been the driving force of the Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation. With its mission to promote conversations between clinicians and patients in order to avoid unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures, the Choosing Wisely campaign has called national attention to this vital initiative. Choosing Wisely has created a number of resources, for both physicians and patients, to help facilitate conversations about care, including:

  • A list of campaign partners
  • Patient-friendly informational materials
  • Communication education modules to aid physicians in conversations with their patients
  • Videos featuring prominent health care leaders on the impact of the campaign
  • Stories that highlight the work of organizations implementing the campaign across the country

Empowerment is Key

In the discussion between Sonier and Wolfson, Wolfson stressed the importance of patients being empowered with the knowledge and tools necessary to advocate for their own health care. Choosing Wisely, along with medical specialists, partnered with Consumer Reports to create a list of five basic questions that all patients, regardless of background, could understand and use to prompt a conversation with their physicians.

The five questions were printed on cards and have been distributed to over 200,000 patients across the United States. The questions are as follows:

  1. Do I really need this test or procedure?
  2. What are the risks and side effects?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options?
  4. What happens if I don’t do anything?
  5. How much does it cost, and will my insurance pay for it?

These guiding questions allow patients to get the answers they need in order to make educated decisions regarding their health care.

To read more about the Choosing Wisely campaign, read success stories, or access resources available to both health care professionals and patients, visit