National Summit on Overuse discusses strategies to improve patient care

Oct. 4, 2012

To help reach a consensus on ways to reduce the occurrence of medical treatments that are commonly used but not always necessary, the American Medical Association (AMA)-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement and The Joint Commission co-sponsored the National Summit on Overuse, held September 24, 2012. Attendees discussed strategies to improve the quality and safety of patient care.

A variety of stakeholders, including representatives from physician organizations, medical specialties, government agencies, research institutions, and patient groups discussed the appropriate use of the following treatments and procedures: heart vessel stents (percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI); blood transfusions (blood management); ear tubes (tympanostomy tubes) for brief periods of fluid behind the ear drum; antibiotics for the common cold (viral upper respiratory infections); and early scheduled births (early induction) without medical need.

Summit participants considered existing evidence surrounding the appropriate use of these five treatments and discussed ways to raise awareness among healthcare professionals and patients and provide ways to reduce overuse. Recommendations to effectively address appropriate use of these treatments to improve healthcare quality and reduce potential risk to the patient were developed using a consensus-building process. For example, recommendations included the creation of educational tools for healthcare professionals and patients, dissemination of leading practices to healthcare professionals, standardized reporting of data, and alignment of existing guidelines. View podcasts highlighting the day’s events.