Skip to Sub-navigation

Is this test necessary? 

CIHI is proud to partner with Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) to reduce unnecessary care. We are looking at tests, treatments and procedures that offer limited clinical value and that could be harmful to patients. CWC has made more than 200 recommendations. Our joint report looks at patients in the context of 8 of these recommendations and found that up to 30% of them had care that was not needed. The report also details success stories in reducing unnecessary care from both national and local organizations across Canada.

Unnecessary care wastes health system resources, increases wait times and can lead to patient harm. Helping patients and clinicians to engage in informed conversations and shared decision-making will help change that. 

  • Unnecessary care wastes health system resources, increases wait times for patients and can lead to patient harm.
  • Canadians have more than 1 million potentially unnecessary medical tests and treatments each year.
  • Up to 30% of patients indicated in the 8 selected Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations had tests, treatments and procedures that are potentially unnecessary.
  • There is room to reduce unnecessary care. Substantial variation exists among regions and facilities in terms of the number of unnecessary tests and procedures performed. This points to an opportunity to improve.
  • Choosing Wisely Canada is a campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments, and make smart choices.
  • The 2017 report Unnecessary Care in Canada from the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Choosing Wisely Canada explores 8 out of more than 200 Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations across sectors of the health system: primary care, specialist care, emergency care and hospital care.