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Using Health Care Resources Wisely Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the realities of a health care system that has been pushed to its limits. Now, and beyond the pandemic, health care services face increasing pressures to address system capacities and backlogs – all while simultaneously treating patients with growing complex care needs.

To address these ongoing concerns, there is a need for concerted efforts to use health care resources wisely. A new report from Choosing Wisely Canada and CADTH, Using Health Care Resources Wisely After the COVID-19 Pandemic: Recommendations to Reduce Low-Value Care, provides future thinking on priority areas for reducing low-value care.

The report highlights 19 existing Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations to help decision-makers avoid reintroducing low-value services in seven clinical areas. Consensus of the recommendations was informed by a 10-member multidisciplinary panel of experts that included physicians, patient representatives, and health policy experts. The goal of the report is to help clinicians and policymakers ensure that limited health system resources are focused on providing necessary care and treatments that will improve the well-being of Canadians.

In an accompanying Viewpoint, Dr. Karen Born and Dr. Wendy Levinson emphasize how Choosing Wisely Canada campaign recommendations have increased urgency in the COVID-19 era. The authors underscore that a sustained effort to use resources wisely and reduce low-value tests and treatments will position health care systems to effectively deliver high-value tests, treatments, and procedures, including restarting those that were postponed due to the pandemic.

Read the Report
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