Finding a BETTER Way
The BETTER approach to chronic disease prevention and screening focuses on the use of high level evidence-based maneuvers for those chronic diseases, and their associated lifestyle factors, with the best evidence for screening or primary prevention:
- Cardiovascular disease: lipid profile, blood pressure, Framingham Risk
- Diabetes: blood sugar
- Cancer: breast, cervical and colorectal
- Common lifestyle factors to chronic diseases (cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer): physical activity, alcohol, diet/nutrition, smoking cessation
The overarching aims of the BETTER approach to chronic disease prevention and screening are to improve clinical outcomes, reduce the burden of chronic disease and improve the sustainability of the healthcare system through improved chronic disease prevention and screening in primary care. The BETTER approach promotes the achievement of these aims through a comprehensive, integrated, longitudinal approach to chronic disease prevention and screening that involves the provision of personalized care by a member of the primary care practice setting, the Prevention Practitioner.
The Prevention Practitioner is a health professional identified by the practice and trained on the BETTER approach to chronic disease prevention and screening. Through shared decision-making, the Prevention Practitioner and the patient develop a “Prevention Prescription” tailored specifically to that patient based on his/her medical history and chronic disease risk.
BETTER employs a collaborative approach grounded in practice and built from existing work, that is, ‘integration NOT creation’. The BETTER approach provides a framework and tools for a paradigm shift from a siloed, management approach to an individualized, personalized, comprehensive and longitudinal approach to chronic disease prevention and screening that is intended to enhance and facilitate current efforts in primary care.
The BETTER Core Principles
The chronic disease prevention and screening maneuvers used in BETTER are tailored to the unique needs and risks of each patient. BETTER also provides a proactive approach that can be adapted to the workflow of each primary care practice setting.
The BETTER approach to chronic disease prevention and screening addresses multiple conditions, not a single disease, and includes all of the eligible evidence-based screens and maneuvers, sensitive to the recommendations of their community and region, that the patient qualifies to receive.
The BETTER approach facilitates the continuity of communication between primary care providers and aids in the development of personal relationships with patients and healthcare professionals, within and available to the practice, which enable patients to achieve their CDPS goals. The BETTER approach also aids in the integration of patients and primary care practice settings into the community by identifying potential resources (local, regional or national) that can be integrated into the individualized patient prescriptions.
The BETTER approach provides a framework that can be adapted into different primary care practice settings, including facilitating the further integration of chronic disease prevention and screening into the primary care practice setting through the introduction of the BETTER tools and resources into electronic medical records and patient charts.
For more information on the process used to identify the high level evidence-based guidelines used in BETTER, please see the Clinical Working Group page.
The BETTER website and tools are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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