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Implementation of 'Choosing Wisely Netherlands' for internal medicine.

BACKGROUND: The Choosing Wisely campaign aims to reduce low-value care to improve quality and lower healthcare costs. Our objective was to determine the current implementation of the Choosing Wisely Netherlands campaign and the 10 recommendations (released in 2014) for internal medicine.

METHODS: We actively surveyed physicians and residents in the departments of internal medicine in 13 hospitals in the Netherlands. The survey was performed during a presentation about Choosing Wisely and we asked whether they thought that the recommendations were implemented.

RESULTS: Between May and November 2018, we surveyed 281 physicians and residents, of which we received 2625 answers (response rate 85%). We found that 178 (68.5%) of 260 physicians were unaware of the Choosing Wisely campaign. For the implementation of recommendations, 1506 (75.2%) of 2003 answers stated that physicians applied the recommendations in clinical practice. We found no differences in implementation of physicians who were aware or unaware of the campaign, respectively 529 (76.1%) of 695 versus 854 (74.2%) of 1151 of the recommendations were implemented; p = 0.357. The recommendation that was implemented least was 'Do not routinely order coagulation tests before invasive procedures', in which 28% stated that they applied this in clinical practice.

CONCLUSION: Four years after the introduction, only one-third of physicians and residents of internal medicine were aware of the Choosing Wisely Netherlands campaign. Nevertheless, most Choosing Wisely recommendations were implemented sufficiently in clinical practice. There is room for improvement, mainly in recommendations that need a multidisciplinary approach.

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