Health maintenance visits are consistently in the top ten reasons for visits to primary care physicians. The beauty and challenge of a specialty such as family medicine is trying to keep straight what care must be provided to patients of various ages. In my morning clinic last Thursday, I saw a new OB patient at 9 weeks gestation, a 6-month well-child, a 21-year-old female well-woman, and several elderly patients all for “annual exams.”
My previous go-to apps for days like this include the excellent AHRQ ePSS, Bright Futures, Pregnancy A to Z, and Dr. Joshua Steinberg’s Health Maintenance Visit apps. We previously favorably reviewed the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) app called ePSS (electronic preventive services selector). The app includes all of the current recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The recommendations from the USPSTF are routinely used by primary care providers and covered by Medicare. At times, their recommendations, such as those on prostate cancer (just revised) screening and breast cancer screening, have caused significant controversy. Overall, their strict adherence to the best available medical evidence is admirable.
But are the above “enough” for women’s health? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of the recommendations from USPSTF, Bright Futures, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) all in one place? ACOG thought so too and they teamed up with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create the new Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI). This group brought together the health maintenance recommendations specifically for women from numerous key groups into one (relatively) easy-to-navigate website/web app. The website includes a searchable well-woman chart, recommendations by category such as age, pregnancy, HIV, cancer, etc. To aid in implementation, the website includes an entire social media toolkit, handouts, and downloadable charts. The website is mobile-friendly, but there is no dedicated app, unfortunately. Using the WPSI web app, we can quickly determine which preventive services a particular woman needs based on the best available evidence.
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