St. Michael’s one of first hospitals in Canada to try 'Choosing Wisely' recommendations

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St. Michael’s one of first hospitals in Canada to try 'Choosing Wisely' recommendations

Toronto, October 29, 2014

By Emily Holton

Poster for Choosing Wisely Canada with a man getting an ECG test

St. Michael’s Hospital has volunteered to be an early adopter of Choosing Wisely Canada, a campaign to help physicians and patients make smart decisions about potentially unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures. The goal is to dispel the false notion that “more care is better care.”

As a member of the Choosing Wisely “Early Adopter Collaborative,” St. Michael’s will be one of the first hospitals in Canada to explore putting some of the campaign’s recommendations into practice.

“At best, unnecessary tests and procedures take patients’ time, add to their stress and contribute to longer wait times,” said Dr. Doug Sinclair, executive vice-president and chief medical officer of St. Michael’s Hospital. “And at worse, they could needlessly expose patients to risks, such as radiation exposure from an X-ray, or more invasive procedures after a false positive. Choosing Wisely recommendations are evidence-based and have been endorsed by all provincial and territorial medical associations; they’re a terrific addition to the work we’re already doing to make sure we deliver appropriate, high-quality care.”

Choosing Wisely Canada is modeled after the hugely successful Choosing Wisely® campaign in the U.S. It’s led by Dr. Wendy Levinson, a scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital and the chair of the Department of Medicine at University of Toronto.

Twenty-one medical societies and six community partners have joined the Canadian campaign to develop 61 recommendations for tests and treatments physicians and patients should question – things for which there is strong evidence of overuse, waste or even harm to patients.

The recommendations will be released Nov. 29 in an event at St. Michael’s Hospital, along with a Choosing Wisely mobile app. For more information on Choosing Wisely Canada, please visit

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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