Monday, May 30, 2011

Addressing family medicine's "Top 5" list

Last week, the journal Archives of Internal Medicine published "The 'Top 5' Lists in Primary Care," a physician-authored consensus statement that recommended five activities each for the specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics to pursue to reduce waste and improve quality. Here is the top 5 list for family physicians, together with related online resources from AFP By Topic collections:

1) Don't do imaging for low back pain within the first 6 weeks unless "red flags" are present.

2) Don't routinely prescribe antibiotics for acute sinusitis.

3) Don't order annual ECGs or any other cardiac screening for asymptomatic, low-risk patients.

4) Don't perform Pap tests on women younger than 21 years or in women status post hysterectomy for benign disease.

5) Don't use DEXA screening for osteoporosis in women under age 65 years or in men under 70 years with no risk factors.

As a reminder, AFP By Topic is also available as a free mobile app in the Apple Store and the Android Market.