Choosing Wisely

Better choices, better results

We're proud to sponsor Choosing Wisely, a global health-professional-led campaign, which in NZ is facilitated by the Council of Medical Colleges, encouraging Kiwis to have well-informed conversations about their healthcare.

We have more test and treatment options today than ever before - but that doesn’t mean we always need them. Some tests, treatments and procedures provide little benefit. And in some cases, they may even cause harm.

It’s okay to ask your health professional questions about your treatment and the expected outcomes. With better understanding, comes better results.

Four questions to ask

We encourage all members to ask four simple questions to ensure you’re getting the most from your appointments. As each situation is unique, a discussion with your health professional can help you develop an appropriate healthcare plan for you.

  • Do I really need this test or procedure?

    Tests may help you and your doctor or other healthcare professionals determine the problem. Procedures may help to treat it. Understanding why your doctor is considering a test - and weighing up the benefits and risks is always advisable, and is every patient’s right and responsibility. 
  • What are the risks?

    If you have, or don’t have the test or procedure, what is likely to happen? Are there potential side effects? What are the chances of getting results that aren’t accurate? Could that lead to more testing or another procedure?
  • Are there simpler, safer options?

    Sometimes all you need to do is make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods or exercising more. Or an alternative test or treatment that might deliver useful information, while reducing any potential negative impacts for you.
  • What happens if I don’t do anything?

    Ask if your condition might get worse, or better if you don’t have the test or procedure right away.

You may also want to make a follow-up appointment to ask further questions, discuss continuing issues or talk to your health professional about your decisions after you’ve had time to consider the options.

Find out more about Choosing Wisely