This was an innovation project supported by the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund.
Choosing Wisely Australia – NPS MedicineWise
Prior to the project, Austin Health identified that unnecessary tests were impacting the health service’s patients, staff and processes.
The unnecessary tests were increasing the risk of harm to patients and causing pain and emotional stress. They could lead to delays in discharge or treatment, which would extend a patient’s length of stay in hospital and, in turn, impact patient flow and access to other services.
For staff, processing the unnecessary tests and following up their results was causing an increase in workload and taking up pathology and radiology service capacity.
The Choosing Wisely initiative aims to improve the safety and quality of healthcare for patients by encouraging people to talk about unnecessary and possibly harmful medical tests, treatments and procedures.
As a Choosing Wisely champion health service, Austin Health took a multidisciplinary, multifaceted approach to reduce unnecessary testing, improving patient care and hospital efficiencies.
- Reduce unnecessary care associated with tests, treatments and procedures
- Engage consumers, clinicians and hospital staff in the concept of ‘More is not always better’ when it comes to medical tests, treatments and procedures
- Empower consumers to have the confidence to ask questions of their healthcare providers
- Empower health professionals to question what care is truly needed
- Support clinicians to understand and engage in high-quality, evidence-based practice
- Reduced blood coagulation studies testing by 37.8 per cent across the hospital and by 80.1 per cent in the emergency department (ED)
- Reduced urine culture testing by 28.6 per cent across the hospital and by 41.1 per cent in the ED
- Improved the appropriateness of coagulation testing, with eight of the 10 highest test-ordering hospital units showing reductions in orders with no clinical indication for testing or with indications that did not align with guidelines
- Saved $75 in pathology costs per patient by reducing orders of coagulation studies
- Saved almost $290 in pathology costs per patient by reducing orders of urine cultures
- Reduced C-reactive protein testing by 14.2 per cent across the hospital and by 65.7 per cent in the ED
September 2019 – Due to its success, the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund supported the scaling and spreading of this innovation project.