University of Tokyo Hospital Promotes Task Force Risk-Stratified Screenings
The University of Tokyo Hospital translated the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations to help raise awareness among Japanese health care professionals about the importance of risk-stratified screening.
Takahide Kohro, MD, PhD, Department of Translational Research for Healthcare and Clinical Science at the University of Tokyo Hospital, says, "The [Task Force] recommendations demonstrate that a risk-stratified screening is important and should be given consideration in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of health screening."
Historically, the health screening programs in Japan are conducted without regard to risk-stratification. Screenings have been indiscriminately performed—all employed men and women, in addition to individuals over the age of 65—take a similar screening test that does not use risk-stratification.
Beginning in 2008, however, the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services pocket guide has been distributed to health screening facilities in and around Tokyo. Approximately 500 copies of the guide were distributed among 450 sites.
The online option for accessing the Task Force recommendations—the Electronic Preventive Services Selector—has been downloaded nearly 500 times a month as of October 2008. Both are generating favorable responses, Kohro says. According to the University of Tokyo Hospital System Web site, the Task Force pocket guide has been translated into Japanese to disseminate the scientific methodology adopted in creating the guidelines.
"We believe that the health care screening resource in Japan should be used more efficiently. The USPSTF recommendations are of tremendous value in helping us decide which ones are best used in particular situations," adds Kohro. "We plan to continue to update the Web version of the translation in order to continue raising awareness of the importance of risk-stratified screening."
The Electronic Preventive Services Selector tool, updated as new recommendations are released, can be downloaded to a PDA or used on the Web. The tool can be found at: http://epss.ahrq.gov/PDA/index.jsp. More information on both the print and Web versions is at: http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/guidelines-recommendations/guide/.
More information about the University of Tokyo Hospital System is at: http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/fin01/d04_08_e.html.