News: Choosing Wisely Manitoba: Charting the Right Course of Care

News: Choosing Wisely Manitoba: Charting the Right Course of Care


Team: Events, Training & News
Posted on January 13, 2016

News: Choosing Wisely Manitoba: Charting the Right Course of Care

Team: Events, Training & News

Date: This is not a timed event.


For a PDF of this press release, click here.


MANITOBA – More is not always better. The same is true for medical tests and treatments. The George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) is partnering with Diagnostic Services Manitoba (DSM) to lead Choosing Wisely Manitoba (CWM), a campaign aimed at improving the appropriate use of diagnostic testing in Manitoba.

CWM is based on the national Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) initiative, which focuses on areas where evidence overwhelmingly shows that a test, treatment or procedure provides no benefit to a patient.

“Medical tests and treatments can cause anxiety for patients. Ensuring the right tests are ordered – no more and no less – can help avoid further anxiety, reduce unnecessary testing and speed up the course of care,” said Dr. Eric Bohm, Director of Health Systems Performance at CHI; Medical Director, Central Intake Program for Hip and Knee Arthroplasty, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA); Assistant Professor (Surgery), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; and CWM Project Sponsor. “With health service demands only increasing, we must continually assess our performance and Choosing Wisely Manitoba provides this important lens.”

The first clinical practice change implemented by CWM featured a new streamlined form for cataract surgery patients in September 2015, which prompts only relevant preoperative testing to be performed. Other priority projects for CWM include optimizing the appropriate use of: Vitamin D testing; imaging for headache, head, and lower back pain; and fecal occult blood tests, among others.

Executive Sponsors of CWM are:
• Dr. Brock Wright, Senior Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Medical Officer, representing the province’s largest health region, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority; and
• Mr. Jim Slater, Chief Executive Officer of DSM, the province’s largest provider of public laboratory and rural diagnostic imaging services.

“As physicians, clinicians and administrators, we are always looking to improve health outcomes,” said Dr. Wright. “The momentum is building for Choosing Wisely and we are glad to be a part of this change in Manitoba.”

The larger CWC initiative is supported by local partners such as The Manitoba College of Family Physicians, Doctors Manitoba and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.

“In February, Choosing Wisely Manitoba will begin implementing its next project, focused on reducing vitamin D testing by as much as 50 per cent,” said Mr. Slater. “An estimated nine out of 10 current vitamin D deficiency tests are performed on patients where there is no medical indication, which presents a great opportunity for Choosing Wisely to help improve the patient journey and ensure a sustainable diagnostic system.”

According to Dr. Bohm, the best health outcomes occur when patients and physicians make educated and effective choices together regarding the course of care. “We are here to help physicians and patients engage in those conversations and support physicians in responding to the recommendations of Choosing Wisely.”


About the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation
The George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation is a partnership between the University of Manitoba (Faculty of Health Sciences) and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. CHI brings together leaders and practitioners from all disciplines in academia and practice to ensure the latest research and evidence are translated into improved patient outcomes, enhanced patient experiences and improved access to care for Manitobans. For more information, visit:

About The University of Manitoba, Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Manitoba, founded in 1877 as Western Canada’s first university, is the province’s only research-intensive university, educating the majority of professionals in Manitoba and a trailblazer in many areas of learning, research, discovery and community engagement. The Faculty of Health Sciences, comprised of the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences, offers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate educational programs in the health professions and basic medical sciences to over 3,100 students. The Faculty of Health Sciences is a research leader in the areas of immunity, inflammation and infectious disease; population and global health; and patient oriented research. It receives external research funding of more than $80 million annually.

About the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is responsible for coordinating and delivering health services, and promoting well-being within the Winnipeg and Churchill geographical areas. With approximately 28,000 people working within the region and an annual operating budget of nearly $2.6 billion, it is the largest health authority in Manitoba. The health authority serves residents of the city of Winnipeg as well as the northern community of Churchill, and the rural municipalities of East and West St. Paul, representing a total population of over 700,000. The health authority also provides support and specialty referral services to nearly half a million Manitobans who live beyond these boundaries, as well as residents of northwestern Ontario and Nunavut.

About Diagnostic Services Manitoba
Diagnostic Services Manitoba is Manitoba’s public sector diagnostic health care service provider, committed to quality, patient-centred care. DSM serves communities across the province, aiming to provide all Manitobans, no matter where they live, with high quality laboratory tests and rural Manitobans with diagnostic imaging procedures. Manitoba physicians rely on DSM’s diagnostic results to diagnose and make treatment decisions for their patients. For more information, visit:

For more information on Choosing Wisely Manitoba, please contact:
Krista Sinaisky