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Canadian Nurses Association joins Choosing Wisely Canada to help nurses and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary care

Ottawa, January 9, 2017 — In a first for Canada, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has partnered with Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) to release a list of nine recommendations to minimize unnecessary care. The list identifies tests, treatments and procedures commonly used in nursing that are unsupported by evidence and could expose patients to harm. The aim is to encourage dialogue between patients and their health-care providers to help make smart and effective choices for high-quality care. In releasing the list, CNA joins over 50 national medical professional societies who have already published (or plan to) a CWC list of recommendations. CNA is the first non-physician national group in Canada to do so.

To develop the list CNA established a nursing working group that represented Canada’s geographic diversity and the diversity of practice across nursing specialties. The group reviewed almost 200 items with corresponding evidence to generate its recommendations. The final list, which covers a wide range of care settings and patient populations, then underwent consultation with CNA members and other stakeholders before receiving approval from CNA’s board of directors.

The value of the nine-item list is easily seen through an example, such as recommendation five, which discourages the routine use of incontinence containment products for older adult and low-mobility patients. While this is an all-too-common practice, the evidence shows adverse outcomes including diminished self-esteem and perceived quality of life and a higher rate of skin problems and bladder infections. The recommendation also proposes adopting a care plan with shared decision-making that includes the wishes of the clients, caregivers and the wider health-care team.

”Choosing Wisely Canada is focused on changing health-care’s ‘more is better’ culture when it comes to medical tests, treatments and procedures,’’ said Dr. Wendy Levinson, CWC chair and co-founder and University of Toronto professor of medicine. “The goal of the campaign is to help health-care providers and patients decide together about the right tests and treatments at the right time while avoiding those that are unnecessary.”

“The Choosing Wisely Canada nursing list is a great way to engage patients and nurses in conversations about care.  These conversations are opportunities to provide evidence-based information to empower patients and offer better patient care and reduced adverse outcomes,” said CNA president Barb Shellian.

See CNA’s Nine Things Nurses and Patients Should Question [PDF, 118.3 KB].

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The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

Choosing Wisely Canada is a national health care campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments and make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality care.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 543
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca

Karen McDonald
Manager of Operations
Choosing Wisely Canada
Tel.: 416-864-6060, ext. 77547
E-mail: karen@ChoosingWiselyCanada.org