Choosing Wisely conferences: Lessons learned and the way forward

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Published: 4 Jan 2024
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Dr Omar Abdihamid - Garissa Cancer Centre, Garissa, Kenya

Dr Omar Abdihamid shares his thoughts with ecancer on the Choosing Wisely conferences.
He sheds light on the invaluable lessons that have been learnt from these conferences and how they have helped shape the healthcare industry in Africa.
Moreover, he delves into the future of these conferences and highlights their importance in promoting better healthcare practices in the region.

Choosing Wisely conferences: Lessons learned and the way forward

Dr Omar Abdihamid - Garissa Cancer Centre, Garissa, Kenya

Your session was about Choosing Wisely Africa, could you tell us about your topic?

Choosing Wisely really is becoming a movement for advocating for patients. As the name suggests, Choosing Wisely is choosing the right treatment, let’s even start with the right patient population first of all, with the right treatment, with the right diagnosis, with the right follow-up, with the right survivorship care, palliative care. Really it cuts across all the continuum of cancer care with the mantra of choosing wisely, as the name suggests.

I gave a talk on specifically the conferences that we’ve been doing with ecancer around this theme. So we’ve been to almost several countries – Senegal, I was here last year doing the same thing, Cambodia as well, doing the same thing – really pushing this agenda of Choosing Wisely forward, all courtesy, of course, of ecancer.

But it’s more of a value-based care for patients and not volume-based care. So that’s literally the cusp of this movement.

What have you learned from all this?

I learned that value-based care really sits in the care for my patients. It keeps also reminding me that actually the Choosing Wisely principle, we may have been doing it subconsciously before or using the guidelines, but now when you are consciously aware of the Choosing Wisely principle in your day-to-day practice it makes all the difference. So it has further anchored me in my daily practice, being cognisant of if I’m doing the right thing i.e. choosing wisely in my daily clinical care practice.

What do you think we can do moving forward?

We need to expand this further to other regions. In the Choosing Wisely principle if you look at the mantra of Choosing Wisely there are ten cardinal points to remind the physicians or the clinical care givers in the treatment of cancer patients. I don’t want to go through all of them but they just wrap around doing the right test for the patient, the least expensive, the available one, and the less harmful one, with the best outcome for the patient in front of you. So, really, what we need to do is to continue with the campaign of Choosing Wisely, continue reminding the caregivers or even the patient population that they should actually demand and even ask for the best care for themselves from their caregivers, if they are following the right principle of Choosing Wisely.