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Press Release Date: Thursday, October 29, 1998
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) today announced the next topics to be investigated by the Agency's Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs). The EPCs will conduct rigorous, comprehensive reviews of the relevant scientific literature on these topics, including meta-analyses and cost analyses, if appropriate. Their findings will be published as evidence reports or technology assessments.
"These reports and assessments will provide evidence-based information on medical conditions that can help reduce the uncertainty leading to inappropriate variations in care," said AHCPR Administrator John M. Eisenberg, M.D. "AHCPR is committed to ensuring that clinicians and patients, as well as health system leaders and policy makers, have access to the best scientific evidence available to help them make informed health care decisions."
Once distributed, the reports will facilitate translating evidence-based research findings into clinical practice. The reports will form the basis of other organizations' efforts to develop and implement their own practice guidelines, performance measures, review criteria, and other clinical quality improvement tools. "Potential users of the evidence reports and technology assessments include a wide range of health care providers, medical and professional associations, health system managers, researchers, and others who play key roles in the effort to improve the quality of health care services nationwide," said Douglas Kamerow, M.D., M.P.H., who oversees AHCPR's Evidence-based Practice Program. In addition, the reports may give health plans and payers information needed to make informed decisions about coverage policies for new and changing medical devices and procedures. (Reports from the 1997 topics assigned to the EPCs will be available late in 1998.)
The new EPC topics are as follows:
- Use of Erythropoietin in Hematology and Oncology,
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center, Chicago, IL.
- Management of Acute Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Duke University, Durham, NC.
- Criteria for Determining Disability in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), ECRI, Plymouth Meeting, PA.
- Treatment of Acne, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
- Anesthesia Management During Cataract Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
- Criteria for Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
- Management of Cancer Pain, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA.
- Management of Acute Otitis Media, Southern California EPC/RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.
- Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism After Injury, Southern California EPC/RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.
- Management of Pre-term Labor, Research Triangle Institute and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC.
- Management of Chronic Hypertension During Pregnancy, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, TX.
- Management of Unstable Angina, University of California, San Francisco, CA, and Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.
For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864 (SPrasad@ahrq.gov).