The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) and the Minnesota Health Action Group (The Action Group) are among 21 state medical societies, specialty societies, and regional health collaboratives that have received grants from the ABIM Foundation to help physicians engage patients in conversations aimed at reducing unnecessary medical tests and procedures. The grants, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, are meant to extend the reach of the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign in communities across the United States.

Launched in April 2012, Choosing Wisely is focused on encouraging physicians and patients to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances can cause harm. Since the campaign launched, 25 medical specialty societies have unveiled lists of over-used or unnecessary tests and procedures.

The Action Group and ICSI partnered on the grant proposal to leverage the unique strengths of each organization. ICSI will take the lead on project work related to physicians and patients, while The Action Group will spearhead the communication efforts with employers and their employees. The two organizations will also participate in a learning network that the ABIM Foundation will establish for the 21 national grant recipients to allow them to learn from one another and enhance the effectiveness of their programs.

As co-recipients of the ABIM Foundation grant, The Action Group and ICSI will have unique responsibilities. For example, The Action Group will: work with employers to identify the most effective and impactful distribution channels, timing, and decision points to incorporate Choosing Wisely materials and messages, and provide written communication materials for their use; build Choosing Wisely messages on appropriate use into its Patient Safety and Quality toolkit for employers; and lead the outreach to other business organizations to expand the spread of the Choosing Wisely campaign, such as with Chambers of Commerce and union trusts.

At the same time, ICSI will engage Minnesota physicians to address the five key prioritized Choosing Wisely recommendations in our community. ICSI will also include Choosing Wisely materials in other initiatives such as “Co-creating a Sustainable Healthy Tomorrow,” which is designed to bring clinicians, citizens and other stakeholders together to create local goals and action plans that help Minnesota communities improve the health, experience and cost of their health care.