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New AHRQ Tool for PDAs Helps Clinicians Select Preventive Services by Age and Gender

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Press Release Date: April 29, 2004

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today announced a second clinical decision-support tool for personal digital assistants (PDAs) that is designed to help clinicians deliver evidence-based medicine when they are with a patient.

AHRQ's new Interactive Tool, the Preventive Services Selector, an application for Palm Pilots and other PDAs, is designed to help clinicians quickly and easily search for which preventive services to provide—or not provide—to patients based on their age and gender. The tool is available for download from the AHRQ Web site at pda.ahrq.gov/index.html.

"This new tool puts the latest information about prevention into the hands of doctors, who can put it to use immediately by recommending the appropriate preventive services for each individual patient," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "It's one of the many ways that we're working to tap the power of modern technology to improve the quality of care for all Americans."

The interactive preventive services tool is based on the latest recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The tool will be automatically updated with new Task Force recommendations each time the PDA is synchronized. The Task Force, sponsored by AHRQ, is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of all of the scientific evidence for a broad range of preventive services, and its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical prevention.

AHRQ PDA applications are available for download at pda.ahrq.gov/index.html. The AHRQ Preventive Services Selector is available in Palm OS, Pocket PC and HTML formats. Additional AHRQ PDA applications are under development.

"The Preventive Services Selector, along with AHRQ's recently announced Pneumonia Severity Index Calculator tool, is a good example of how technology can support and improve the delivery of evidence-based health care services," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "AHRQ is continuing to find ways to combine state-of-the-science research with technology to create tools that clinicians can use every day."

For more information on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, visit the AHRQ Web site at: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstfix.htm.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1246 or (301) 427-1855.


 

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