Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) adopted a series of Choosing Wisely recommendations in an effort to reduce low-value surgeries. One such recommendation, first released in 2016, advocates against routine use of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for axillary staging in older women (≥ 70 years old) with early-stage, estrogen receptor positive (ER+), clinically node-negative breast cancer. Data supporting this recommendation were largely retrospective in nature as there were no direct randomized trials testing de-escalation of SLNB in this population of patients. This has led to variability in de-implementation of SLNB, with rates of SLNB use still reaching 50%-60% in some centers.
To address this, we designed an electronic medical record-based column nudge that flags patients meeting Choosing Wisely criteria for omission of SLNB. This was designed to target surgeons in the moments leading up to the first clinic visit with patients where surgical decision-making is planned. In a this study, we deployed the column nudge for a 12 month period.
The enrollment number reflects the number of surgeons participating in the study (whom the nudge was deployed to); we anticipate this group of surgeons will see over 400 patients between the pre-nudge and post-nudge periods.
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