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עמוד בית
Tue, 27.02.24

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June 2022
Shai Ashkenazi MD

The development of antibiotic agents has revolutionized the treatment of infectious diseases and clinical practice. However, antibiotic overuse, together with biologic evolution, has resulted in escalating antibiotic resistance of bacteria; with the One Health concept, it affects our planet including animals, aquatic wildlife, rivers, groundwater, lakes, sea water, aqua farming, and soil. This situation threatens our ability to treat infections effectively in the near future and raises the alarming question of whether we are getting close to the post-antibiotic era. Several measures are suggested to prevent the apocalyptic consequence of antibiotic overuse, few of which are novel with thinking outside the box.

Anat Gaver MD

Too much healthcare is prevalent, wasteful, and harmful. It consists of two separate phenomena: overdiagnosis and overuse. Overdiagnosis is the labeling of a person with a disease or abnormal condition that would not have caused the person harm if left undiscovered. Individuals derive no clinical benefit from overdiagnosis, although they may experience physical, psychological, or financial harm. It has been found that 15–30%, 20–50%, 0–67%, and 50–90% of people with screen detected breast, prostate, lung, and thyroid cancer, respectively, are overdiagnosed. Since many screening tests have trade-off between benefit and harm, a shared decision-making approach is essential. Incidental findings are very common and may also cause overdiagnosis. Overdiagnosis is recognizable in populations and not at the individual level. However, overuse is recognizable at the level of the individual practitioner. Choosing Wisely, an intervention directed at reducing low value care, now faces the challenge of developing interventions that go beyond recommendations. While some of the drivers of overdiagnosis and overuse are similar, different and parallel strategies are needed in order to reduce them. This is one of the major challenges to our health care system.

Royi Barnea PhD, Ruti Berger PhD, Yossi Weiss PhD MPH, and Joshua Shemer MD

Overuse of healthcare services is a common phenomenon defined as: “a healthcare service that is provided under circumstances in which its potential for harm exceeds the possible benefit.” It is expressed in the gap between desired services and available ones and is accompanied by high financial and human life costs. One-fifth to one-third of patients receives unnecessary, ineffective, or potentially harmful treatments or services. One of the greatest challenges to understanding overuse is the lack of definition for appropriate use. Apart from the physical and mental damage caused by overuse or improper use of medical services, this phenomenon has many implications, such as increasing waiting times for services, creating long queues, and incurring considerable financial costs as over 10% of hospital expenses are used to correct medical errors or preventable infections. Government intervention through economic arrangements such as deductibles and pre-authorization of services by the insurer are partially effective in reducing the overuse of health services. Additional solutions include ensuring safety and quality of care as well as shared decision-making.

January 2021
Uriel Levinger MD, Shoshana Hadar MD, and George Habib MD
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