Task Force Recommendations Integrated Into Clinician Decision Support System
Covisint DocSite—a clinical decision-support and performance management company—participated in the AHRQ electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) Knowledge Transfer project as a way to implement the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations.
According to John Haughton, MD, MS, DocSite founder and Covisint Chief Medical Information Officer, "We were looking for projects with strong evidence for improving workflow." Haughton believes the project was a great opportunity for Covisint DocSite because "the USPSTF recommendations were readily available for integration into our existing clinical decision-support system."
By training office staff to use ePSS, Covisint clients can access the USPSTF recommendations through the electronic health record (EHR) and potentially improve the quality of patient care. ePSS will also allow providers to print handouts for patients, highlighting specific preventive care needs. The handouts will be tailored for patient use by condensing the text and including illustrations to communicate key points.
Covisint runs the information exchange and provides the health information technology infrastructure support for many initiatives, including the American Medical Association's (AMA's) Amagine portal. Haughton demonstrated the link to ePSS at a recent AMA conference. "People were excited. It is accessible and attractive. There is value at the other end of the link."
According to Haughton, ePSS helps improve health care quality because "EHRs are becoming a critical link in connecting meaningful patient information." He believes the future of health care is exciting because "decision-support enhances the care of patients and improves the health of the population." Haughton looks forward to adding more recommendations to Covisint DocSite as the USPSTF releases them.
ePSS is designed to provide real-time decision-support for clinicians regarding appropriate screening, counseling, and preventive services for their patients. It is based on the recommendations of the USPSTF and can be searched by specific patient characteristics, such as age, sex, and selected behavioral risk factors.
AHRQ has worked with more than a dozen primary care provider groups across the United States in the following ways:
- Assisting providers in implementing the ePSS widget into their EHR.
- Assisting providers in implementing ePSS recommendations into their EHR's clinical decision-support system.
- Working with EHR vendors to ensure appropriate support during the technical implementation process.
- Providing support in the use of the USPSTF recommendations.
AHRQ's ePSS, updated as new recommendations are released, can be downloaded to a PDA, accessed on the Web, or installed on any Web site as a widget. The tool can be found at http://epss.ahrq.gov/PDA/index.jsp.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, 2010-2011. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2010.
Electronic Preventive Services Selector. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.