Clip and Copy: Helping patients stay healthy

December 3, 2004

How to make preventive care a centerpiece of your practice.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, MD, an arm of HHS, only 5 percent of the $1.4 trillion spent on healthcare in the United States goes toward preventive health measures and the promotion of general health. To help improve those numbers, distribute these handouts to your patients [(PDF) http://www.memag.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=134101]. The AHRQ developed them based on recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Besides boosting your patients' physical and mental health, the handouts can improve your practice's financial well-being by prompting patients to make periodic appointments with you.

You also can add the guidelines to your practice newsletter, handbook, or Web site. Go to http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/ppipix.htm for information about the AHRQ's Put Prevention Into Practice program. For copies of "A Step-by-Step Guide to Delivering Clinical Preventive Services: A Systems Approach," contact the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse (800-358-9295). Or you can view the publication on the Internet at http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/manual/manual.htm.