Cari Almazán, Head of Essencial Project
Essencial (Essential), in our context, is a pioneering project. Introduced in March 2013, it was the first initiative in Catalonia and Spain created with the objective of identifying and making the necessary recommendations for the avoidance of little value clinical practice. This objective is not confined to solely generate a periodic list of recommendations. Essencial also aims to promote real change in clinical practice. To achieve this, complementary strategies to implement the recommendations and measure their impact have been developed.
What is meant by little value clinical practices?
It’s clear that, apart from clinical practices with proven effectiveness, other clinical practices take place, some of low value and some that do not provide any substantial value whatsoever. When talking about clinical practice of little value, we mean health interventions that are inappropriate in certain circumstances, either because they are ineffective or because there is no scientific evidence of effectiveness, either because the risks outweigh the benefits or there are alternatives that are more cost-effective. The consequences of inappropriate practice are increased overdiagnosis and overtreatment, as mentioned in the recent medical article Update on medical overuse, published in JAMA. Continue reading