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InfoPro Case Study: AHRQ

Developing Technology for Excellence in Health Care

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a public health service agency in the Department of Health and Human Services. AHRQ's mission is to support research that improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The research sponsored, conducted, and disseminated by AHRQ helps people make better decisions about health care.

The Challenge
Create a new Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) tool for primary care clinicians to use when recommending preventive services for their patients. The personal digital assistant (PDA) and desktop and laptop web browser versions will allow clinicians to access the latest recommendations from the AHRQ-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in real time, helping patients stay healthy rather than being treated after the onset of an illness.

The Solution
InfoPro supported AHRQ with the ePSS web browser and PDA versions from the initial concept development to delivery. Our experts supported AHRQ in the following areas:

  • Developing a human factors analysis to make the design "user friendly" in a fast paced clinical environment
  • Conducting a workflow analysis to ensure that all requirements were incorporated in our approach
  • Designing an initial "mock-up" of the screens and then working with AHRQ to refine and finalize the screen organization
  • Developing the initial web browser version
  • Migrating the concept to a PDA environment while maintaining similar screen design and progression
  • Programming the PDA version to fit both Windows Mobile and Palm technologies
  • Initiating a Blackberry-based version and cell phone version for future development
  • Reviewing all aspects of the solution with users and AHRQ management to ensure it reflected all Task Force recommendations
  • Providing 24x7 customer support to ensure that physicians, health care providers, and the public have
    consistent access to the ePSS database

The Benefits
With ePSS, physicians and other health care providers have access to recommendations from the AHRQ-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, such as information on screening tests ranging from mammograms to ultrasound tests to detecting abdominal aortic aneurysms, as well as counseling topics and information on preventive medications.

The ePSS PDA's user-friendly components make it easy to navigate; it works on Palm and Windows operating systems. Physicians using the web browser version can also print out individualized health reports that can be shared with patients.

AHRQ's ePSS has approximately 5,000 unique visitors per month—evidence that the system is being used widely by clinicians on a day-to-day basis.

Why InfoPro
The ePSS initiative demonstrates InfoPro's ability to pair technical and software design expertise with skill in human factors and system design. It is a great example of InfoPro's work, managing the complex requirements of re-engineering web desktop or laptop versions of virtually any system to a PDA environment.

InfoPro is also developing a consumer version of the ePSS. To view ePSS, visit the AHRQ Web site at www.ePSS.ahrq.gov.

For more information on how InfoPro can help your organization, contact us or call (703) 226-2520.