Preventative Health Care Tool Ready for Download

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have rolled out a new online and PDA tool for making the best preventative health care recommendations to patients.

In an effort to encourage top notch preventative care, a new tool to be downloaded to a PDA or desktop or used online by health care providers was launched by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and announced by Department of Health and Human Services.

The tool was announced by Department of Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt at the National Prevention Summit in Washington D.C.

Dubbed the ePSS (Electronic Preventive Services Selector), it offers 110 preventative health recommendations to specific populations and covers 59 topic areas.

"The ePSS can provide a basis for initiating important and sometimes difficult conversations between patients and their health care providers," said AHRQ director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.

The tool is based on the most current recommendations of the USPSTF (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) and can be searched by specific patient characteristics, such as age, sex and selected behavioral risk factors.

The software uses these specific patient characteristics to generate a report on preventative health behaviors specifically tailored to the needs of that patient.

The ePSS tool is freely available and can be downloaded from the AHRQ site by health care providers as well as patients. The ePSS can also be used as an online application.

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If downloaded, the application can be updated via e-mail alerts to keep up with current USPSTF preventative care recommendations. Users can also set their devices to automatically update on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.

"This Electronic Preventive Services Selector will assist physicians in selecting the right preventive service for the right patient in real time," said Leavitt.

"It will help us create a culture of wellness—a society that thinks of staying healthy rather than simply being treated after were sick."

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