It’s been a big Summer for the movement to reduce overused medical procedures. In July, the Proceedings from the National Summit on Overuse were published. In August, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (ABIMF) announced that as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, leading medical specialty societies will release more than 30 new lists of specific tests or procedures they say are commonly ordered but not always necessary and could cause harm.

Proceedings from the National Summit on Overuse provides detailed recommendations on curbing overuse of five identified medical interventions or treatments, as well as an overview of the 2012 National Summit on Overuse that brought together representatives from 112 professional organizations and associations. The paper, released by The Joint Commission and the American Medical Association-Convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, offer approaches to address the overuse of antibiotics for viral upper respiratory infections (URIs), over-transfusion of red blood cells (called appropriate blood management for purposes of the summit), tympanostomy tubes for middle ear effusion of brief duration, early-term non-medically indicated elective delivery, and elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

The National Summit on Overuse — along with ABIMF’s rapidly growing Choosing Wisely lists — signals that the work that NPA started in 2009 with the Promoting Good Stewardship in Medicine project has taken hold. Identifying overperformed medical testing and procedures and then acting on this information to improve patient care and lower costs is becoming best practice.