Women’s Preventive Services Initiative Web App

Bringing all women’s health recommendations in one easy-to-navigate website

Health maintenance visits are consistently in the top ten reasons for visits to primary care physicians. The beauty and challenge of a specialty such as family medicine is trying to keep straight what care must be provided to patients of various ages. In my morning clinic last Thursday, I saw a new OB patient at 9 weeks gestation, a 6-month well-child, a 21-year-old female well-woman, and several elderly patients all for “annual exams.” 

My previous go-to apps for days like this include the excellent AHRQ ePSS, Bright Futures, Pregnancy A to Z, and Dr. Joshua Steinberg’s Health Maintenance Visit apps. We previously favorably reviewed the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) app called ePSS (electronic preventive services selector). The app includes all of the current recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The recommendations from the USPSTF are routinely used by primary care providers and covered by Medicare. At times, their recommendations, such as those on prostate cancer (just revised) screening and breast cancer screening, have caused significant controversy. Overall, their strict adherence to the best available medical evidence is admirable.  

But are the above “enough” for women’s health? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of the recommendations from USPSTF, Bright Futures, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) all in one place? ACOG thought so too and they teamed up with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create the new Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI). This group brought together the health maintenance recommendations specifically for women from numerous key groups into one (relatively) easy-to-navigate website/web app. The website includes a searchable well-woman chart, recommendations by category such as age, pregnancy, HIV, cancer, etc. To aid in implementation, the website includes an entire social media toolkit, handouts, and downloadable charts. The website is mobile-friendly, but there is no dedicated app, unfortunately. Using the WPSI web app, we can quickly determine which preventive services a particular woman needs based on the best available evidence. 

Evidence-based medicine

The ACOG WPSI website and web app is a joint venture between ACOG and HRSA. The app incorporates evidence-based health recommendations from ACOG, USPSTF, ACIP, IOM, and Bright Futures among others. The app is relatively easy to access and use. Some recommendations are more evidence-based than others depending on the source. Not all recommendations include a level of evidence rating or a clear reference. Some recommendations such as screening for breast cancer appear to give both the recommendation from ACOG and USPSTF without clearly delineating between the two. Some of the footnotes within the app help to clarify some of these differences, but the data is not as easy to find as it could be.

What providers would benefit from this App?

Students, residents, mid-levels, primary care, ob/GYN, internal medicine. The website is ideal for anyone who evaluates and treats women and takes care of their preventive health maintenance. 

Price

o Free.

Likes

o Comprehensive lists of women’s preventive health recommendations

o Ability to view by subject, age, condition (i.e., pregnancy, HIV, etc.)

o Quality social media toolkit, handouts for providers and patients

Dislikes

o No app available, but website is mobile-friendly

o Some recommendations are more evidence-based than others. Not every recommendation comes with a level of evidence rating or clear reference

o Scrolling in the app can be cumbersome for some sections with multiple clicks/links

Overall

The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) web app from ACOG and HRSA bring an AHRQ/ePSS like interface to women’s health maintenance issues. The app takes the most current recommendations from reputable organizations (some recommendations more evidence-based than others) including ACOG, USPSTF, and Bright Futures and combines them into one web app. The information can be accessed in multiple ways including downloading PDFs or using the online interactive health maintenance chart. 

Overall Score

o 4.5 stars.

User Interface

o 4.5 stars.

Web-based only (mobile friendly), fairly easy to use scrolling menus and embedded hyperlinks. Some scaling issues noted on my iPhone 8 that, hopefully, they can address. 

Multimedia Usage

o 5.0 stars.

The website/web app includes numerous social media links/toolkit, interactive well-woman chart, hyperlinks embedded in the app, and PDFs to download for both providers and patients.   

Price

o 5 stars.

Access to the website/web app is free.

Real-World Applicability

o 4.5 stars.

The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) from ACOG and HRSA is a potential game-changer for ensuring women’s health is addressed at the point of care. The web app/website includes “all” of the most common recommendations from ACOG, USPSTF, Bright Futures, and others in one place. My only concern is that the lack of a dedicated app and some of the issues with viewing the web app on mobile devices may discourage uptake. There also may be firewall issues with some browsers/work-related browsers as I was unable to access via any government computer/browser.

Device Used For Review

o iPhone 8 running iOS 12.4, Safari 11.0.     

Available on any web browser, no app versions available at this time.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.