CardioSource WorldNews December 2014 - Page 59

HEALTH TECH SHIV GAGLANI A Review of the ACC’s Clinical Guidelines App E arlier this year I reviewed the Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) Risk Estimator app that was published by ACC. I concluded the review by recommending it due to its ease of use and immediate qualitative and quantitative feedback, which is why I was pleased to learn that the ACC had released another app in November: the Clinical Guidelines App. This app was released as part of the ACC’s commitment to providing physicians trustworthy and actionable educational material at the point-of-care. Before we delve into the app itself, let’s take a moment to understand why the clinical guidelines are so important. According to the 2008 report, “Improving Physician Adherence to Clinical Practice Guidelines,” from the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI), “adults receive only about half of the right care at the right time…We can provide better care and care at a lower cost through the use of clinical guidelines.” Fortunately, the report found that cardiologists are among the most likely to adhere to guidelines than other physicians, with 70% of surveyed cardiologists falling into the action/adherence phase of using clinical guidelines compared to 47% of primary care providers, 34% of other specialists, and 25% of orthopedists. That being said, the report also notes that a key barrier to the practice of evidence-based medicine and the successful use of clinical guidelines is “insufficient access to guidelines at the point of care.”1 While guidelines can be accessed in multiple formats and locations, such as the National Guideline Clearinghouse from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the ACC realized that many physicians would benefit from a mobile solution similar to their ASCVD Risk Estimator app. The ACC’s Clinical Guidelines app, which is available for free on both the Apple App and Google Play stores, aims to address this need. The app allows clinicians to access guideline recommendations on the following three topics, with two more at the bottom of the list planned to be released in the near future: • Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk (CV)  • Heart Failure (HF)  • Treatment of Blood Cholesterol (CHOL)  • Atrial Fibrillation (AF)  • Valvular Heart Disease (VHD) Understanding that a simple mobile-optimized website could also be used to present guidelines, the developers added greater functionality to this app so that it extends well