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Choosing Wisely Canada-Top Five List in Hepatology: Official Position Statement of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL) and ChoosingWisely Canada (CWC)

Mayur Brahmania, Eberhard L. Renner, Carla S. Coffin, Eric M. Yoshida, Phil Wong, Marilyn Zeman, Hemant Shah


Introduction and aim. The prevalence and incidence of chronic liver disease is increasing resulting in substantial direct and indirect medical costs. Overuse of investigations, treatments and procedures contribute to rising health care costs and can expose patients to unnecessary harm and delay in receiving care. The Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) campaign has encouraged profesional societies to develop statements that are directly actionable by their members in an effort to promote higher-value health care that will lead to downstream effect on how other practitioners make decisions. Material and methods. The Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL) established its Choosing Wisely top five list of recommendations using the framework put forward by CWC. CASL convened a task force that developed a list of draft recommendations and shared this with CASL membership electronically with eventual ranking of the top five recommendations by consensus at Canadian Digestives Disease Week (CDDW) 2017. Following revisions, the CASL Executive Committee endorsed the final list, which was disseminated online by CWC (July 2017). Results. The top five recommendations physicians and patients should question include: 1) Don't order serum ammonia to diagnose or manage hepatic encephalopathy (HE). 2) Don't routinely transfuse fresh frozen plasma, vitamin K, or platelets to reverse abnormal tests of coagulation in patients with cirrhosis prior to abdominal paracentesis, endoscopic variceal band ligation, or any other minor invasive procedures. 3) Don't order HFE genotyping based on serum ferritin values alone to diagnose hereditary hemochromatosis. 4) Don't perform computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) routinely to monitor benign focal liver lesions. 5) Don't repeat hepatitis C viral load testing in an individual who has established chronic infection, outside of anti-viral treatment. Conclusion. The Choosing Wisely recommendations will foster patient-physician discussions, reduce unnecessary treatment and testing, avert adverse effects from testing and treatment along with reducing medical expenditure in hepatology.

Key words. Choosing Wisely Canada, Health care resources, Hepatology, Value

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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