Published 3/1/2015
Ryan Pezold, MA; Jayson Murray, MA

AUCs Encourage Physician-Patient Communication

The Academy’s Appropriate Use Criteria (AUCs) web-based app (www.aaos.org/aucapp) makes it easy to determine appropriate patient-specific treatments. A new feature—a print function—is designed to encourage physician-patient discussion regarding appropriate procedures and to improve record-keeping.

The new function results in a printed hard-copy patient profile with the treatment recommendations and appropriateness rating. In addition to generating dynamic patient-specific treatment recommendations for on-the-spot conversation, the new print option gives physicians the opportunity to save a record of the recommendations in a patient’s file or even provide a copy to the patient to take home and continue consideration of evidence-based treatment recommendations.

The new feature is available on all published AUC physicians, simply complete a patient indication profile and select “Print” under the procedure recommendations. This generates a dated page that shows the patient profile and treatment recommendations. Simply fill in the patient information (name, date of birth, record number, and date) on the blank lines at the top of the form.

Using the print feature can provide another opportunity for physicians and patients to give each other feedback on treatment options. It can also encourage shared decision-making, especially in settings where the patient and/or physician might be more comfortable handling a hard-copy document.

The following four AUCs are publicly available at no cost at www.aaos.org/auc:

  • Non-Arthroplasty Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee
  • Optimizing the Management of Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures
  • Treatment of Distal Radius Fractures

The AAOS is currently developing AUCs based on the clinical practice guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans, Management of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries, and Management of Hip Fractures in the Elderly.

These and other evidence-based initiatives can be found on the AAOS website at www.aaos.org/research; to stay informed of progress on these initiatives, visit www.aaos.org/ebmnewsletter

Ryan Pezold, MA, is a research analyst and Jayson Murray, MA, is the manager of evidence-based medicine in the AAOS department of research and scientific affairs.