Since 1998, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has convened the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)—an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force makes recommendations to help primary care clinicians and patients decide together whether a preventive service is right for a patient’s needs.
AHRQ staff provide scientific and administrative support for the Task Force, and assist in disseminating its findings and recommendations to key audiences. In that role, we are pleased to make The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2014 available to those who seek to ensure that their patients receive the highest quality clinical preventive services.
I am gratified that AHRQ has been able to support the USPSTF in its efforts to engage the public and to ensure that its processes are transparent. Most notably, all Task Force draft materials are now available for public comment online at www.USPreventiveServicesTaskForce.org.
Previous iterations of the USPSTF Guide to Clinical Preventive Services are used around the Nation to provide appropriate and effective preventive care. The Guide is designed to be user-friendly for practicing clinicians. In addition, the Guide lists resources that clinicians can use to educate their patients on appropriate preventive services, such as Stay Healthy brochures and MyHealthfinder (see Appendixes). Also included are brief descriptions of and links to tools that health care professionals can use to improve their practice, including the electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) and the National Guideline Clearinghouse (see Appendixes).
As more information becomes available to clinicians and patients alike, AHRQ’s goal is to help improve patients’ health and well-being, and contribute to better health outcomes for the Nation overall.
Richard Kronick, Ph.D.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality