Commentary | Open Access
An Educational Forum to Engage Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Residents in Resource Stewardship Modelled after the Choosing Wisely Campaign
BACKGROUND: Rising costs present a major threat to the sustainability of health care delivery. Resource stewardship is increasingly becoming an expected competency of physicians. The Choosing Wisely framework was used to introduce resource stewardship at a national educational retreat for infectious disease and microbiology residents.METHODS: During the 2014 Annual Canadian Infectious Disease and Microbiology Resident Retreat in Toronto, Ontario, infectious disease (n=50) and microbiology (n=17) residents representing 11 Canadian universities from six provinces, were invited to participate in a modified Delphi panel. Participants were asked, in advance of the retreat, to submit up to five practices that infectious disease and microbiology specialists should not routinely perform due to lack of proven benefit(s) and/or potential harm to patients. Submissions were discussed in small and large group forums using an iterative approach involving electronic polling until consensus was reached for five practices. A finalized list was created for both educational purposes and for residents to consider enacting; however, it was not intended to replace formal society-endorsed statements. A follow-up survey at two-months was conducted.RESULTS: Consensus was reached by the residents regarding five low-value practices within the purview of infectious diseases and microbiology physicians. After the retreat, 20 participants (32%) completed the follow-up survey. The majority of respondents (75%) believed that the session was at least as relevant as other sessions they attended at the retreat, including 95% indicating that at least some of the material discussed was new to them. Since returning to their home institutions, nine (45%) respondents have incorporated what they learned into their daily practice; four (20%) reported that they have considered initiating a project related to the session; and one (5%) reported having initiated a project.CONCLUSIONS: The present educational forum demonstrated that trainees can become actively engaged in the identification and discussion of low-value practices. Embedding residence training programs with resource stewardship education will be necessary to improve the value of care offered by the future members of our profession.
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