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Symposium to Help California Pathologists Implement Choosing Wisely® Best Practices

Chicago (PRWEB) November 19, 2013

Launching a grassroots effort to reduce inappropriate or over-utilized lab testing and improve the quality and safety of medicine, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is collaborating with the California Society of Pathologists (CSP) to present a Choosing Wisely® symposium at CSP’s 2013 Annual Meeting on Dec. 7, 2013.

“Choosing Wisely: How California Pathologists Can Influence Appropriate Testing,” will help California pathologists effectively implement ASCP’s Choosing Wisely best practices; impact positive clinical outcomes and cost reduction; and overcome communication, organizational, and systems barriers to do so. The symposium is part of an educational initiative for California pathologists and is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

ASCP is partnering with the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign to engage physicians in being better stewards of finite healthcare resources. ASCP identified five recommendations for reducing inappropriate testing:

  • Do not perform population-based screening for 25-OH-Vitamin D deficiency.
  • Do not perform low-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) testing.
  • Avoid routine preoperative testing for low-risk surgeries without a clinical indication.
  • Only order Methylated Septin (SEPT9) on patients for whom conventional diagnostics are not possible.
  • Do not use bleeding time tests to guide patient care.

ASCP and other professional societies involved in the Choosing Wisely campaign were challenged to identify healthcare practices that may provide little, if any, benefit to patients. ASCP’s five recommendations were chosen because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and, eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician.

“Diagnostic testing is a cornerstone of health care and as laboratory medical professionals, pathologists play a key role in patient care,” said Dr. E. Blair Holladay, Executive Vice President of ASCP. “Although we are not always directly involved with patients, we work with physicians and other healthcare providers who are, and it is our responsibility to make them aware of evidence-based guidelines and to ensure that patients have the appropriate tests at the appropriate time.”

The California initiative also includes an interactive tool kit and resource website that includes a Choosing Wisely video white paper, educational materials, and media for pathology and laboratory professionals to lead and influence patients and colleagues to “choose wisely.” The toolkit can easily be shared with colleagues and includes:

  • An eLearning course developed from the live symposium on Dec. 7, 2013.
  • Videos, articles, podcasts, posters, handouts, and an app for iOS and Android devices.
  • Profiles of laboratories that offer test utilization review services.
  • Templates and tip sheets for writing articles about the Choosing Wisely campaign.

“We’re pleased to continue ASCP’s efforts surrounding Choosing Wisely through this grassroots initiative in California,” said Lee Hilborne, MD, MPH, FASCP, DLM(ASCP)CM, 2011-2012 Chair of the ASCP Institute Advisory Committee that developed the ASCP recommendations and a Past President of ASCP. “We’re confident that by giving pathologists tools they can readily use, we can accelerate the progress in optimizing patient outcomes, and thereby improve health care.”

Of the more than 635 ASCP members practicing in California, 52 percent work in hospitals, 12 percent in reference labs, and 6 percent in medical schools, where they have the potential to guide the next generation of clinicians.

“This symposium is the first of several activities that will help California pathologists learn how to implement Choosing Wisely best practices to their labs and spread the word to physicians ordering the tests,” said CSP President Ellen Klapper, MD. “This will help ensure the goals and objectives will become reality and truly result in better patient care.”

About ASCP
Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is a medical professional society with more than 100,000 member board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals, and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. For more information, visit

About the CSP
The CSP is statewide society representing board certified pathologists and residents. The mission of the CSP is to provide education, advocacy, government relations and practice management geared towards the needs of practicing pathologists. Our goal is to improve the quality of laboratory and pathology services for the benefit of patient care.

About the ABIM
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the healthcare system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, healthcare 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, read our blog,, connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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