The Choosing Wisely Initiative: A critical analysis with a special focus on primary care

Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2017 Dec:129:31-36. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2017.10.015. Epub 2017 Nov 15.


The Choosing Wisely initiative (CWI), a campaign led by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, promotes doctor-patient communication and reducing waste in healthcare. At present, many of the top 5 lists from the Choosing Wisely Initiative appear to be primarily eminence-based and influenced by self-interest. The implementation of recommendations from these lists may mean taking a step backwards to the time before evidence-based medicine. On the other hand, despite all the challenges that the Choosing Wisely initiatives are currently facing, it is difficult to deny that they also hold great potential in terms of making healthcare systems more efficient and beneficial to patients. The aim of the ongoing work in Germany and Austria is to create conditions that are necessary if CW initiatives are to evolve into a model tool that will help introduce the principles of evidence-based medicine into daily practice.

Keywords: Choosing Wisely; Herausforderungen; Initiativen in Deutschland und Österreich; Primärversorgung; challenges; initiatives in Germany and Austria; methodische Schwächen; methodological shortcomings; primary care.

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Communication*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • United States