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Survey finds communication key reason for unnecessary healthcare


Matt Woodley


28/02/2019 3:25:10 PM

More than half of the GPs in a nationwide survey cited difficulties in accessing patient information as a crucial aspect of unnecessary healthcare.

The survey found unnecessary healthcare can also be driven by patient expectations, potential for medical litigation and uncertainty of diagnosis.
The survey found unnecessary healthcare can also be driven by patient expectations, potential for medical litigation and uncertainty of diagnosis.

The findings, published in the latest Choosing Wisely Australia Report, show that 61% of specialists and 36% of hospital staff also reported challenges in accessing information from doctors in other settings, leading to avoidable medical tests, treatments and procedures.
 
More than 80% of the GPs surveyed said there is a problem with the use of unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures in medical practice, which are also driven by patient expectations, potential for medical litigation and uncertainty of diagnosis.
 
However, while 62% of GPs and 42% of specialists cited patient expectations as a driver for ordering unnecessary tests, only 14% of consumers said they had made such requests.
 
Steve Morris, CEO of the report’s publisher, NPS MedicineWise, said there is a strong appetite in Australian healthcare for reducing unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures.
 
‘This year’s report showcases perspectives from healthcare providers, consumer health organisations and researchers,’ Mr Morris said.
 
‘Ultimately the goal is ensuring less people are undergoing healthcare they don’t need, and improving the quality and safety of our healthcare system.
 
‘Improving communication across different care settings and empowering consumers to be active partners in their healthcare can help overcome barriers to optimal care.’
 
The report includes 26 new recommendations designed to change clinician attitudes to practice, foster consumer engagement and acceptance, change key clinical practices, and promote alignment with the healthcare system.
 
These include a Neuropathic Pain Program designed to improve the quality of life for people with neuropathic pain and support GPs to take a structured approach to diagnosis, a program focused on the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and the Royal Australian College of Physicians’ Evolve Initiative.



Choosing Wisely patient records primary care





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