ASNC Joins ABIM in Choosing Wisely Campaign

April 4, 2012

ASNC Aims to Encourage and Patient Conversations by Identifying Five Tests or Procedures That May Be Overused

BETHESDA, MD -- ASNC today released a list of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" in nuclear cardiology as part of Choosing WiselyTM, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation. The list identifies five targeted, evidence-based recommendations that can support physicians in working with their patients to make wise choices about their care.

ASNC's list identified the following five recommendations:

  1. Don't perform stress cardiac imaging or coronary angiography in patients without cardiac symptoms unless high-risk markers are present.
  2. Don't perform cardiac imaging for patients who are at low risk.
  3. Don't perform radionuclide imaging as part of routine follow-up in asymptomatic patients.
  4. Don't perform cardiac imaging as a pre-operative assessment in patients scheduled to undergo low- or intermediate-risk non-cardiac surgery.
  5. Use methods to reduce radiation exposure in cardiac imaging, whenever possible, including not performing such tests when limited benefits are likely.
"Delivering high-quality, patient-centered care is the obligation of every medical professional," said John J. Mahmarian, MD, president of ASNC. "The Choosing Wisely campaign represents a unified effort in the medical community to promote best practices and good stewardship of health care resources by experts in the field. ASNC whole-heartedly supports this effort and is proud to be a part of this important initiative."

All the lists released today as part of Choosing Wisely were developed by the partner organizations after careful consideration and review over many months. ASNC appointed a writing group of content experts to identify five areas in which to make recommendations. Areas were selected for the evidence-based data available to direct provider decision-making and the potential for improving patient selection and care by eliminating inappropriate testing. Specific recommendations were drafted for each subject area, accompanied by peer-reviewed literature citations. These recommendations were reviewed by the ASNC Quality Assurance Committee and Board of Directors prior to submission to the Choosing Wisely campaign.

The Choosing Wisely campaign seeks to help physicians, patients and other health care stakeholders think and talk about overuse or misuse of health care resources. It is part of the ABIM Foundation's goal of promoting wise choices by clinicians and patients in order to improve health care outcomes, provide patient-centered care that avoids unnecessary and even harmful interventions, and reduce the rapidly-expanding costs of the health care system.

Additional Resources
Choosing Wisely campaign website
ASNC Choosing Wisely Recommendations (PDF)