As consumers and providers of healthcare services, we all have questions to ask and answer as we try to ensure the best evidence-based practices are applied to the most important element of the healthcare visit, communication. Providers must take into account what they know, what they don’t know, and the collaborative nature of patient-centered care. One aspect of how to think about this is captured in the Choosing Wisely Australia set of five questions for patients to ask healthcare providers before getting tests, treatment, or procedures. These questions covers if there are alternatives available, risks of recommended care, care options, and costs. When viewed from the provider or patient perspective these are all valid questions to be prepared to answer and ask, respectively, in an effort to end up with the right care. The questions – which have been translated into 12 languages – are available at https://www.choosingwisely.org.au/resources/consumers-and-carers/5questions along with additional materials.
If you are a patient, asking these questions can help you determine the best care options for your conditions. As a clinicians, it’s important to be prepared to answer these questions to that your patients can make the best decisions for the care needs. These discussions create more informed, evidence-based, patient-centered collaborative approaches to healthcare that benefit everyone.