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AHRQ launches Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) tool for primary care clinicians

A new Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) tool for primary care clinicians to use when recommending preventive services for their patients was unveiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at the National Prevention Summit on October 26, 2006. The interactive tool is designed for use on a personal digital assistant (PDA) or desktop computer to allow clinicians to access the latest recommendations from the AHRQ-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The tool can be viewed and is available for download from the AHRQ Web site at http://www.ePSS.ahrq.gov.

The ePSS is designed to serve as an aid to clinical decisionmaking at the point of care and contains 110 recommendations for specific populations covering 59 separate preventive services topics. The "real time" search function allows a clinician to input a patient's age, gender, and selected behavioral risk factors, such as whether or not they smoke, in the appropriate fields. The software cross-references the patient characteristics entered with the applicable Task Force recommendations and generates a report specifically tailored for that patient.

The associated database includes information on screening tests ranging from mammograms to ultrasound tests to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms, as well as counseling topics and information on preventive medications. The ePSS PDA has user-friendly components that makes it easy to navigate and allows it to work on platforms for Palm and Windows¨ operating systems. The desktop computer version also provides clinicians with the ability to print out individualized health reports that can be shared with their patients.

In addition, AHRQ recently released the Adult Preventive Services Timeline, a wall chart based on Task Force recommendations that illustrates who needs preventive services and when.

Print copies (AHRQ Publication No. APPIP06-IP001) are also available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

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