Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 01, 2011

Healthcare Technology and News: The Guideline Advantage Program Measures and Compares Patient Quality Care

To improve outpatient care nationwide, three major health organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have come together to create a quality improvement program, called The Guideline Advantage. Doctors will be able to use this program alongside electronic health record providers to have easy access to important patient data, ultimately leading to improved care and patient outcomes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the four leading causes of death in the United States include heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes and the program will mostly focus on these sectors. Based on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines quality suite of programs, the program was initially launched as Get With The Guidelines-Outpatient with main focus on cardiovascular health and then slowly transitioned to become The Guideline Advantage that evaluates and improves outpatient treatment and prevention of the four major diseases.

The quality of care provided by doctors and other healthcare providers is efficiently measured and compared by The Guideline Advantage program. Using this kind of metrics, healthcare providers can implement the evidence-based guidelines to provide necessary care for patients who are at risks for these conditions. So as to facilitate future heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes research, the program will make use of the electronic health records to build rich database information set.

In a release, Vincent Bufalino, M.D., the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's liaison and steering committee chair of The Guideline Advantage said, “In the case of The Guideline Advantage, 'outpatient' refers to the world of office-based medicine, provided by general practitioners, internists, geriatricians, cardiologists, neurologists, oncologists, endocrinologists and the list goes on. According to evidence-based guidelines, these are the assessments we should be making; the questions we should be asking; and the screenings we should be recommending. Research has proven that, when followed consistently, these guidelines can make a real difference in our fight against these leading killers.”

The collaboration of the electronic health record providers and the health technology vendors within the program ensures smooth gathering and sharing of health records. Some of the early participants of the program include Forward Health Group, Inc., GEMMS and New Century Health.

Carolyn John is a Contributor to HealthTechZone. To read more of her articles, please columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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