ASCP Recognizes 2021 Choosing Wisely Champions for Reducing Unnecessary Testing and Waste in Health Care

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Six national healthcare leaders and health systems honored for driving improvement in healthcare delivery

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“Identifying Champions and sharing their successes allows all of us to learn from their efforts to improve healthcare delivery.”Lee H. Hilborne, MD, MPH, DLM(ASCP)CM, FASCP

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) has named several healthcare leaders and health systems as its ASCP 2021 Choosing Wisely Champions for their successful efforts to drive effective test utilization and reduce waste in health care. The Choosing Wisely Champions program is part of ASCP’s broader Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, which seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.

ASCP will virtually present its 2021 Choosing Wisely Champions on October 20 from 2-3 p.m. Eastern time, during the ASCP 2021 Annual Meeting’s ‘Path to Boston’ Choosing Wisely session. A question-and-answer session with virtual attendees will follow. To attend the session and view the presentations, register for ASCP 2021 at https://www.ascp.org/annualmeeting/2021/register.

“Identifying Champions and sharing their successes allows all of us to learn from their efforts to improve healthcare delivery,” said Lee H. Hilborne, MD, MPH, DLM(ASCP)CM, FASCP, chair of the ASCP Effective Test Utilization Steering Committee and a past President of ASCP.

Below are the honorees and a synopsis of their achievements. Individuals who have an asterisk by their name have been selected to present their work during the session on October 20.

University of California at San Diego and the Veterans’ Affairs VISN22 Area Team
Jessica Wang-Rodriguez, MD; Daniel R. Luevano, MS; Robin Nuspl, MT(ASCP); Nicholas J. Bevins, MD, PhD

Dr. Wang-Rodriguez, Danny Luevano, Robin Nuspl, and Dr. Bevins developed an innovative and data-driven approach to identifying low-value laboratory utilization based on Choosing Wisely guidance. Their methods enabled study of a large array of tests using performance benchmarks derived from national level data, including all Veterans Affairs medical centers. The team has intervened at sites within the VISN22 administrative, with provider education, electric health record ordering adjustments, and other interventions to decrease low-value utilization after identification, saving nearly $200,000 in test costs.

PeaceHealth, Representative: Mohiedean Ghofrani, MD, MBA, FASCP, Chair, PeaceHealth Laboratory Stewardship Committee

Since 2017, PeaceHealth, a regional health system with 10 hospital laboratories in the Pacific Northwest, has partnered with Quest Diagnostics for clinical laboratory testing, and Quest has shared its expertise to support laboratory stewardship at PeaceHealth. Laboratory leadership convened in-house experts to form a Laboratory Stewardship Committee (LSC). After analysts reviewed laboratory data shared by PeaceHealth, the first LSC meeting was held in November 2019. The LSC has solicited projects, analyzed test utilization data, recommended interventions, and measured and reported its efforts’ effectiveness.

Andrew Fletcher, MD, MBA, CPE, CHCQM*, ARUP Laboratories

Dr. Fletcher, medical director of ARUP Consultative Services, has promoted the Choosing Wisely guidelines through his contributions to continuing education and his collaborative initiatives with hospital systems nationwide to drive quality healthcare improvement. Along with the ARUP Consultative Services team, Dr. Fletcher has developed real-time analytics tools to identify commonly misused tests and has led laboratory stewardship analyses of reference and in-house testing. Nearly 1,600 users in hospitals and labs across the United States use 645 of these dashboards to reduce inappropriate testing.

ARUP Consultative Services, ARUP Laboratories Representative: Sandy Richman, MBA, C(ASCP), Director*

ARUP Consultative Services collaborates with health systems nationwide to implement Choosing Wisely guidelines that optimize both reference and in-house laboratory test utilization. By developing and deploying its AnalyticsDx dashboards, the team has helped clients identify opportunities to eliminate gaps in their test use that do not adhere to Choosing Wisely guidelines, as well as ways to reduce inappropriate tests. The team has completed over a dozen consulting projects in the last three years and identified ways to save individual hospitals and health systems more than $700,000 annually.

Mather Hospital Northwell Health’s Choosing Wisely Committee, Mather Hospital
Representative: Denise Uettwiller-Geiger, PhD, DLM(ASCP), Clinical Transformation Liaison, Medical Affairs*

Established in 2016, Mather Hospital’s Choosing Wisely Committee reviews evidence-based guidelines to stimulate discussion about frequently ordered tests or treatments, and to develop tools to ensure clinicians make more effective care choices to improve quality and patient outcomes. Specific laboratory-driven initiatives include leveraging a pre-test probability, Wells Score, with a rapid D-dimer assay to support an exclusion strategy for patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with possible symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

Gaurav Sharma, MD, FASCP*, Henry Ford Health System

Dr. Sharma is the medical director of regional laboratories of the Henry Ford Medical Group, associate medical director of the Clinical Pathology Core Laboratory at Henry Ford Hospital, and co-chair of the Henry Ford Health System Laboratory Utilization Taskforce. Since 2013, Dr. Sharma has championed and helped implement the Choosing Wisely goals across the Henry Ford Health System. He has partnered with departmental and health system leaders to formalize and establish a system-wide Multidisciplinary Laboratory Formulary Committee.

About ASCP
Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is the world’s largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, anatomic and clinical pathologists, and medical laboratory professionals. To learn more, visit http://www.ascp.org. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ascp_chicago and connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ASCP.Chicago.

About the ABIM Foundation
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit http://www.abimfoundation.org, connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About Choosing Wisely®
First announced in December 2011, Choosing Wisely® is part of a multi-year effort led by the ABIM Foundation to support and engage physicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources. Participating specialty societies are working with the ABIM Foundation to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician’s role in helping patients make wise choices. Learn more at http://www.ChoosingWisely.org.

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Susan Montgomery
ASCP
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