Choosing Wisely NWT

Choosing Wisely Canada is a campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments, and make smart and effective care choices.

More is not always better. The same is true for medical tests and treatments.

A recent report from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) found that up to 30% of medical tests, treatments and procedures in Canada are unnecessary. Canadians experience over one million unnecessary medical tests and treatments each year. Choosing Wisely identifies and promotes evidence-based recommendations in each specialty to reduce the risk of patients being exposed to the potential harms of unnecessary tests and treatments.

Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority’s Role

Along with other Canadian provinces and regional health authorities, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) is a partner of Choosing Wisely

The NTHSSA and Choosing Wisely NWT aim to engage health care providers and the public about Choosing Wisely Canada’s evidence based recommendations. This can help foster conversations between providers and patients about the harms of unnecessary tests and treatments in order to encourage informed decision making.

Choosing Wisely Canada Northwest Territories Priorities

Informed by local clinicians and partners, Choosing Wisely NWT has implemented targeted regional strategies in the following areas:

  • More is not Better
  • Antibiotics Wisely
  • Low Back Diagnostic Imaging
  • Lab Utilization

In 2022, the effectiveness of these strategies will continue to be monitored.  In addition, Choosing Wisely NWT will work towards meeting the following objectives:

  • Develop Rural Medicine Toolkit:  Strategies to reduce unnecessary patient movement for medical care
  • Assess effectiveness of lab directives and remove any barriers to appropriate testing
  • Plan and implement strategies to address overuse of IgE Food Panels in Pediatrics
  • Improve access to Choosing Wisely resources for clinicians and messaging to community members

How can I make sure I’m Choosing Wisely?

Talk to your health care provider about Choosing Wisely.  When you have an appointment, ask your physician these four questions:

  1. Do I really need this test/ treatment or procedure?
  2. What are the downsides?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options?
  4. What happens if I do nothing?


Have questions about the Choosing Wisely campaign or how you can choose wisely?  Contact our Choosing Wisely NWT Coordinator at

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