HCTW news brief: Institute of Medicine unveils top healthcare priorities

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 3, 2009

An advisory panel of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report last week identifying 100 healthcare concerns that it thinks should take precedence in the Obama administration's $1.1 billion comparative effectiveness effort to evaluate drugs, medical devices, operations, and other treatments.

Professional groups, policy makers, and the public submitted about 2,600 suggestions to the IOM panel, which determined the list of 100 healthcare concerns. The list suggests treatment for prostate cancer, measures for preventing falls in elderly patients, and strategies for reducing hospital-acquired infections should be high medical priorities.

According to the report, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 called on the IOM to suggest priority topics for national comparative effectiveness research. The effort aims to improve patient care quality and increase efficiency in healthcare organizations by comparing and using scientific evidence to make healthcare decisions, rather than relying on physicians' perspectives or treatments encouraged by medical product companies.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal and Institute of Medicine.

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