Caring Wisely™

"We are an incubator and catalyst for change that enables frontline clinicians to redesign healthcare systems and implement innovative care processes to improve quality and reduce costs."
- Catherine Lau, MD, Caring Wisely™ Director

What is Caring Wisely™?

Caring Wisely is an organized process for engaging and supporting frontline clinicians in efforts to remove unnecessary costs from healthcare delivery systems and improve the quality of care delivered. The program was created and launched by the UCSF Center for Healthcare Value in November 2012.

How does Caring Wisely work?

The Caring Wisely program consists of 3 stages:

1) The Ideas Contest: a health system-wide open call to all staff, providers, faculty and trainees to bring forward their best ideas for identifying areas that could be targeted to reduce inefficiencies and healthcare costs;

2) The Request for Proposals Stage: project teams are encouraged to submit proposals for intervention strategies; and

3) The Project Implementation Stage: frontline project and implementation science teams meet regularly to develop and implement an intervention strategy.

Each project has a maximum budget of $50,000 and receives project support from the Caring Wisely team. A key feature of the program is the partnership between project teams, the Caring Wisely team, and the Caring Wisely Executive Committee (comprised of executive health systems leaders in quality, operations, finance, and information technology).

We have collected more than 200 ideas and 42 full project proposals in each of the first 5 years of the program, via UCSF Open Proposals: a web-based platform enabling transparent and collaborative proposal development. Each year, 2-3 projects have been chosen for implementation. Results show notable decreases for target groups in blood transfusions, nebulizer treatments, operating room supply costs, postoperative opiate use, length of stay for colorectal surgery and gynecology-oncology surgical patients, and overuse of antibiotics.

If you have an idea to reduce costs, reduce waste, and improve quality of care at UCSF Health, please submit to our upcoming 2018 Caring Wisely Ideas Contest that will be launched in January 2018.

The 2017 Caring Wisely awarded projects and links to archives of past awarded projects can be viewed (UCSF MyAccess login required):

2017-2018 Caring Wisely™ Project Leaders
James Hardy, MD
Conor O’Neill, MD
Jennifer Viner, NP

2016-2017 Caring Wisely™ Project Leaders
Sarah Doernberg, MD
Monica Harbell, MD
Andrew Schober, MD
Sakura Kinjo, MD
2016-2017 Caring Wisely Projects

2015-2016 Caring Wisely™ Project Leaders
Lee-Lynn Chen, MD
Tom Newman, MD, MPH
Sarah Imershein, MPH
2015-2016 Caring Wisely Projects

2014-2015 Caring Wisely™ Project Leaders
Corinna Zygourakis, MD
Kent Soo Hoo, PhD
Lindsay Hampson, MD
Ellen Weber, MD
2014-2015 Caring Wisely Projects

2013-2014 Caring Wisely™ Project Leaders
Chris Moriates, MD
Kathryn Curcione, RN, BSN, ONC, NE-BC
Delene Johnson, MS, MT, SBB
Molly Rankin, PA-C
2013-2014 Caring Wisely Projects

Caring Wisely™ Resources

For more information, please contact:
Sarah Imershein, MPH ([email protected]), Caring Wisely Program Manager
Catherine Lau, MD ([email protected]), Caring Wisely Director