When you shop for a new car, phone or camera, you have lots of information about your choices. But when it comes to choosing the right medicine or the best health- care treatment, clear information can be hard to find. Let’s face it, if you don’t get the best possible information about your treatment choices, you might not make a good decision about your treatment.
That’s where HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Effective Health Care Program comes in. The Program’s mission is to help folks make more informed treatment choices. Topics on their website range from integrating existing systematic reviews of current research to publishing treatment protocols. They use something called Comparative Effectiveness Research to build the consumer information…which uses research to identify new and emerging clinical interventions.
Comparative effectiveness research is designed to inform health-care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different treatment options. The evidence is generated from research studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care.
For example, someone with high blood pressure might have more than a dozen medicines to choose from. Someone with heart disease might need to choose between having heart surgery or taking medicine to open a clogged artery. Info on the Effective Health Care Program website is available on the pros and cons of all the options so that you and your doctor can make the best possible treatment decision for you or someone in your family.