It is an undisputed fact: a growing number of medical tests and procedures may do patients more harm than good. «Choosing wisely», an initiative which originated in the United States, seeks to address this issue. The idea of introducing this approach in Switzerland – launched by the SAMS in 2013 – came to fruition with the establishment of the «smarter medicine – Choosing Wisely Switzerland» association in 2017.
The umbrella association «smarter medicine – Choosing Wisely Switzerland», established in 2017, brings together the SAMS, the Swiss Society of General Internal Medicine (SSGIM), the Swiss Federation of Healthcare Professional Associations (SVBG/FSAS), and patient and consumer protection organisations.
Press release on the establishment of the «smarter medicine – Choosing Wisely Switzerland» association (12 June 2017, PDF), available in French and German
Since 2017, a number of medical societies have published Top 5 lists of interventions which should either be avoided or only performed under certain conditions. In 2018, the association launched a campaign targeted at patients: published recommendations are now made available in lay language, so as to encourage the dialogue between health professionals and patients and to enable shared decision-making. As part of the awareness-raising campaign, a public event on the «less is more» concept was jointly organised by the SAMS and the SSGIM at the «Planète Santé» health fair held at Martigny in 2019.
National campaign «Less is more»
Unnecessary vitamin D measurements, regular health checks or superfluous iron supplementation: there are treatments and tests that offer no demonstrable added value for patients or are not even indicated for asymptomatic individuals. The national campaign was launched in 2022 on social media, at trade fairs and with free information and advertising material. Its aim is to prepare patients for a medical consultation and enable them to ask questions about the various treatment options and the advantages and disadvantages of the recommended treatment. You will find in the flyer more information and a link to order free advertising material.
Conflicts of interest adversely affect the quality and integrity of medical care, as they may unduly influence professional judgement or decision-making. In order to raise awareness of this issue among specialists, the SAMS in 2017 published recommendations on the disclosure, prevention and management of conflicts of interest in connection with the preparation of guidelines and Choosing Wisely (Top 5) lists.
SAMS Recommendations (2017, PDF), available in French and German
In 2014, the SAMS conducted a survey of medical societies and other health system actors in order to investigate the availability of Choosing wisely lists and problems associated with their development.