WASHINGTON—The American Society of Nephrology (ASN), the world's leading kidney organization, joins the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, eight other leading national medical specialty societies, and Consumer Reports in the new Choosing Wisely campaign that helps health care professionals and patients avoid wasteful and sometimes harmful medical interventions.
Unnecessary or redundant tests and procedures account for nearly one third of the medical care delivered in the United States.
ASN President Ronald J. Falk, MD, FASN said, "ASN is honored to participate in ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely campaign. ASN and its nearly 14,000 members work daily to cure kidney disease."
Each Choosing Wisely partner created lists of five common, but not always necessary, tests or procedures in their fields that patients and physicians should question and discuss. "In developing its list, ASN focused on aligning patient care with evidence-based medicine," said Dr. Falk. "ASN's list and the Choosing Wisely campaign emphasize the critical partnership of patients, families and kidney professionals in providing optimal patient care," he added.
The following make up the "Five Things" list developed by ASN:
- Routine cancer screening—including mammography, colonoscopy, PSA testing, and Pap smears—of dialysis patients who have limited life expectancies and no signs or symptoms of cancer is not cost effective and does not improve survival in these patients.
- Administering erythropoiesis-stimulating agents—drugs that are commonly used to prevent anemia—to chronic kidney disease patients who do not experience symptoms of anemia, even if they have low levels (<10 g/dl) of hemoglobin, does not improve survival or prevent cardiovascular disease and may even be harmful.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) use in individuals with high blood pressure, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease can raise blood pressure, make antihypertensive drugs less effective, cause fluid retention, and worsen kidney function. Other medications such as acetaminophen, tramadol, or short-term narcotic pain relievers may be better options for these patients.