NYGH shares “Choosing Wisely” success with other hospitals

A new project aimed at reducing unnecessary medical tests and procedures was announced April 7, 2016, at InnovationEX, the Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation's annual event that showcases advances in medical innovations among member hospitals.

Choosing Wisely: An Idea Worth Spreading is the latest project to be supported by Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC), a program co-led and sponsored by the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) and Health Quality Ontario (HQO) to help bring evidence-based ideas into practice across Ontario's health system.

The project proposed by North York General Hospital (NYGH), Toronto East Health Network, and the North York Family Health Team, aims to reduce unnecessary care and is based on the recommendations of Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC), a campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments and make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality care.

“We have already reduced unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures for the 400,000 individuals living within North York General Hospital's community,” said Dr. Donna McRitchie, Vice President of Medical and Academic Affairs at North York General. “With the ARTIC funding support from CAHO and HQO, another 1.5 to 2 million people of all ages, living in communities served by each of the Joint Centre hospitals, will potentially benefit.”

NYGH implemented most of CWC's recommendations and has seen:

  • The number of laboratory tests ordered for ED patients decrease by 31% since September 2014, 
  • The number of lab tests ordered in the pre-operative clinic drop by 38% since February 2015, and
  • The number of mobile chest X-rays done in the intensive care unit has fallen 12% since January 2015.
Since implementing CWC recommendations, North York General's patient satisfaction scores, quality and safety indicators, and patient outcomes have remained consistent.

With support from ARTIC, North York General's experience and lessons learned will be shared with other members of the Joint Centres: Markham Stouffville Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto, Southlake Regional Health Centre, and spread to affiliated family health teams as well as other community health partners.

Read HQO and CAHO's full press release.

April 8, 2016