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LHSC designated a Choosing Wisely Canada Hospital in reducing overuse of medical tests and interventions

Media Release

For immediate release: 

March 4, 2020

LONDON, Ontario – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is pleased to announce it has received the Choosing Wisely Level 3 Hospital designation. This designation is the highest level possible based on the implementation of Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) recommendations and an organization-wide commitment to reducing overuse of medical tests and interventions.

The prevalence of unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures in Canada in 2017 was approximately 30 per cent according to CWC. By reducing this overuse, hospitals can improve quality, safety and realign resources to provide improved patient experience. 

The LHSC application for the CWC designation was led by Dr. Mayur Brahmania, a transplant hepatologist and Dr. Ian Chin-Yee, a hematologist. For Dr. Brahmania, the importance of evidence-based quality improvement initiatives, such as those promoted by CWC are the future of health care. “Medicine has evolved over the years and we are really at a turning point in how we deliver care to our patients,” says Dr. Brahmania. 

One of the requirements for achieving Level 3 designation includes the implementation of 10 CWC recommendations across four departments including Emergency, Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Surgery. Some of the recommendations implemented at LHSC include removing folic acid testing from standard blood tests; reducing the number of unnecessary chest x-rays for critically ill patients; and reducing repetitive blood tests for patients that are stable. These changes have taken place to improve the quality of care, and reduce risk and harm to patients. 

The other two requirements for the Level 3 designation are to support CWC initiatives in the organization’s Strategic Plan and to mentor another hospital in implementing CWC recommendations. LHSC accomplished both these tasks with the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan: Working Together to Shape the Future of Health and by mentoring Middlesex Hospital Alliance. 

 “Choosing Wisely encourages health-care professionals to reduce interventions, therapies and tests that offer low value,” says Dr. Chin-Yee. “We decided to apply for the highest level because we were already implementing recommendations and felt that as an academic centre, we should be leaders of change.”

As only the third hospital in Canada to receive the designation, LHSC joins Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and SickKids in this distinction that aims to reduce tests or interventions that do not add quality and may expose patients to risk. 

“Our physicians, staff and leaders are committed to a relentless focus on quality, safety and the patient experience,” says Dr. Adam Dukelow, Chief Medical Officer, LHSC. “We are proud of the dedication of our physicians, staff and leaders to undertake the necessary reviews and process changes to effectively act on the CWC recommendations.” 

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 145 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 75 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca  

About Choosing Wisely Canada
Choosing Wisely Canada is the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in health care. It launched in 2014 in partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. Choosing Wisely Canada has partnered with over 70 professional societies from different clinical disciplines to develop lists of “Things Clinicians and Patients Should Question.” These lists contain recommendations of tests, treatments and procedures that could be used less or stopped because they are not supported by evidence and could potentially expose patients to harm. To date, over 300 recommendations have been published. https://choosingwiselycanada.org  


For media inquiries contact:                            
Kathy Leblanc
Corporate Communications and Public Relations 
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772