Tuesday, September 8, 2009

PEP for HIV Exposure? A New Widget's Maiden Voyage

Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP for short, is a course of anti-retroviral drugs that can reduce the risk of HIV sero-conversion after an exposure if taken in a timely manner. The guidelines for administering PEP have changed over time, and for doctors deciding when to go for it hasn't always been clear.

Now there's a widget to help!

The New York Times reported today about the release of a new tool to 200 emergency room doctors in New York State. The tool "walks users through a screening process to determine whether they are candidates for treatment, provides specific information about the 28-day course of antiretroviral drugs, and even links to consent forms in 22 languages, including Creole, Laotian and Yoruba."

The tool can be easily updated by the health department with changes in recommendations and statistics so that the doctors can always have the latest to go on. And with the critical window for PEP at less than 72 hours, its time that decision making is made easier. I'd be happy to see an evaluation of this trial period, and if successful, expansion to others states. Perhaps there are other health care decision making models that can be digitized. We'll see.

No comments: