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Collaboration helps consumers to ‘choose wisely’

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Healthdirect Australia has joined forces with NPS MedicineWise in support of the Choosing Wisely Australia® initiative which is designed to help people make more informed decisions about their health.

Consumers are often unaware that not all tests, treatments and procedures they might want, or have been recommended, are in their best interest. The initiative, facilitated by NPS MedicineWise, gives people the knowledge and tools they need to engage in conversations with their doctors and specialists about potentially harmful and unnecessary medical practices, by providing specific recommendations on treatments, tests and procedures that may be unnecessary.

“Healthdirect Australia worked with NPS MedicineWise to identify ways to contextually link to the Choosing Wisely Australia recommendations within articles on the healthdirect website,” said Andrew Bryant, Online Services Manager at Healthdirect Australia.

“Both of our organisations are committed to ensuring that all Australians have access to trusted health information and advice. Through this collaboration we’re able to guide people to the latest evidence-based information from Australian medical colleges and societies on the Choosing Wisely website.”

Healthdirect Australia is partnered with over 160 leading health organisations, such as NPS MedicineWise, to deliver quality information and resources through its websites. The healthdirect website is currently the single largest referrer of traffic to the Choosing Wisely website, with over 200 links to the recommendations placed within healthdirect website content on topics such as allergies, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and diabetes.

“The benefit of having the recommendations on the healthdirect website is that they add value to the information we can provide. For example, in our section on back pain we’re able to explain what back pain is, the causes, symptoms, and treatments, and then include the relevant Choosing Wisely Australia recommendation – in this case, that an X-ray in response to low back pain is only needed if you have other significant symptoms such as problems with bladder and bowel control, severe pain or weakness or numbness in one or both legs,” Mr Bryant said.

The overarching goal of Choosing Wisely Australia is to affect a cultural shift in our community by explaining that more is not always better when it comes to providing high quality healthcare.

“The Choosing Wisely Australia initiative is challenging the way we think about healthcare. It provides Australians with the information and confidence they need to ask clinicians questions on tests, treatments and procedures that the medical colleges and societies involved have identified as carrying an unnecessary risk or are of proven low value,” said Dr Robyn Lindner from NPS MedicineWise.

“The collaboration with Healthdirect Australia is a great example of a partnership to ensure consumers have access to the high-quality, evidence-based advice they need to make better health decisions.”

The next wave of the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative officially launched on Wednesday 16 March. For more information, visit www.choosingwisely.org.au

(Source: healthDirect Australia)

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Posted On: 18 March, 2016
Modified On: 17 March, 2016

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