Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question

Aug. 5, 2020

Washington, D.C. - August 5, 2020 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has partnered with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine) Foundation’s Choosing Wisely initiative to develop a list of recommended questions that physicians should ask before ordering specific diagnostic tests or procedures. The list addresses the most common clinical microbiology test misconceptions.

The subject matter experts of ASM’s Clinical and Public Health (CPHM) committee - laboratory directors at academic, commercial and public health laboratories and test utilization experts - collaborated to identify the list of diagnostic and management decisions that have resulted in misuse of laboratory studies and resources. The recommendations were formulated based on laboratory practice, evidence and an extensive review of the literature, resulting in 5 recommendations that address common test misconceptions.

“The recommendations, if instituted, would result in higher quality care, lower costs and more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel,” said Preeti Pancholi, Ph.D., D(ABMM), a member of ASM’s CPHM committee. “It is crucial that both physicians and patients think critically about these tests and treatments. Following the recommendations would significantly reduce the number procedures administered that are not ordered based on evidence and do not benefit the patient.”

The recommendations were vetted and approved by ASM’s Clinical and Public Health Microbiology Committee and the ASCP's Effective Test Utilization Committee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and is comprised of subject matter and test utilization experts along with 735 advisory board members across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. 

The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.


About the ABIM Foundation: The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policymakers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice.

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation that seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
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