As a nurse practitioner, I often find it difficult to keep track of screening guidelines.  From breast cancer and bone density screenings to routine immunizations and carseat safety recommendations, there is a lot to know about preventative care.  What if you had a program conveniently available that allowed you to simply input the age and gender of your patient automatically populating screening recommendations?  The AHRQ ePPS does just that.

AHRQ ePSS (Agency for Healthcare Research Quality Electronic Preventative Services Selector) is an app designed to assist primary care providers in selecting the appropriate preventative health screenings, counseling and preventative medications for their patients.  

I analyzed this app using myself as the test patient.  I filled in my age- 28 years, gender- female, pregnant- no (“I really really hope not but you can never be sure” was not an option), tobacco user- no, sexually active-yes (sorry Mom, but I am married…).  Upon submitting my information, six screening guidelines popped up on the (cracked) screen of my iPhone.  According to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force this year it is recommended that I receive screening for high blood pressure and cervical cancer, take a folic acid supplement, and am screened for various STD’s if I am at increased risk.  Sounds like a pretty thorough analysis of my preventative health needs (minus the STD testing).  

Yes, I agree- this app has the worst name.  Ever.  Furthermore, today’s featured app is put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  I realize that technology released by the U.S. government is not typically of the highest quality or user-friendliness.  Despite it’s name and origin, I was however pleasantly surprised by this free app and believe it to be a great resource for nurse practitioners.  The ease of use and wealth of information AHRQ ePPS provides make it a must-have for nurse practitioners and NP students.  Oh yeah, and it’s free.  

Which apps do you frequently use in your practice?  Have you tried AHRQ ePPS?

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