aaosIn a recent news release, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Board of Directors report that it has approved an Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), designed to assist physicians in treating patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

The AUC’s background stems from the 2013 AAOS evidence-based clinical practice guideline on OA of the knee, according to Michael Heggenness, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon, who served as a non-voting moderator during the voting panel process. “This AUC is a tool that takes that guideline one stop further; it marries the available evidence with expert medical opinion and is available at the touch of a web and mobile-based app,” Heggenness adds.

The AUC can also benefit physicians outside of orthopaedic surgery, Heggenness says. With the common occurrence of knee pain, many patients may see their primary care doctor, rheumatology, or other physician for treatment, “so we are hoping that other clinicians across medical disciplines familiarize themselves with this AUC and together we can help optimize patient care,” he says.

The web-based app is designed to function on a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets. The clinician is able to select a range of patient characteristics, and once submitted, receives appropriate recommendations for each of the treatments covered by the AUC. According to the release, three separate panels of clinicians who represent a variety of medical disciplines determined treatment appropriateness. A writing panel reportedly used clinical expertise and evidence-based information from the AAOS Evidence Based Clinical Guideline on Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee to create a list of patient indicators, assumptions, and treatments.

A review panel provided suggestions centered on the improvement of the materials conducted by the writing panel. Lastly, the voting panel then used clinical expertise from multiple medical specialties and evidence-based information in order to assign the appropriateness of various treatments for each patient scenario, using a 9-point appropriateness scale.

Ultimately, the release states, the panels came up with 10 different options across 576 patient scenarios. The results indicate that out of more than 5,700 different patient/treatment combinations that show 53% rated as “appropriate,” 29% rated as “may be appropriate,” and 18% rated as “rarely appropriate.”

For more information on the AUC, click here

Source: AAOS