ACOEM’s Guidelines are the gold standard in effective treatment of occupational injuries and illnesses. They are intended to help improve or restore the health of workers who incur occupationally related illnesses or injuries through identification of the most efficacious treatment strategies to be implemented at the earliest date. ACOEM’s are the only quality evidence-based guidelines that focus on improving the health of injured workers and returning them to functional life and work within 90 days of an injury or illness. This is clinically appropriate, as data show that more than 90 percent of workplace injuries are resolved within this time period. However, health issues outside of the 90-day range are also comprehensively addressed throughout the Guidelines.
ACOEM Practice Guidelines Content Update
March 2014: Opioids Guideline– Third Edition, Revised. Guideline released. Over 960 references including 157 high and moderate quality treatment studies.
May 2013: Elbow Disorders Guideline– Third Edition, Revised. Guideline updated. New studies released that changed 5 of the recommendations and/or evidence levels.
July 2011: Third Edition Knee chapter released, updates to 2008 versions of Elbow Disorders, Low Back Disorders and Chronic Pain.
November 2010: ACOEM Practice Guidelines Third Edition Release, over 2500 updated evidence based musculoskeletal recommendations.
October 2010: Select APG-I Plus users access to the New York Medical Treatment Guidelines via Browse Guidelines, Browse Version, State Based Guidelines.
May 2010: New treatment guidelines for Hip and Groin Disorders released. The new content includes over 200 recommendations focusing on diagnostic testing and treatment for 30 hip and groin disorders.
October 2009: Hand Wrist and Forearm Disorders updated. The new content includes over 300 recommendations focusing on diagnostic testing and treatment for 20 hand, wrist or forearm disorders.
September 2009: Recommendations regarding vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty updated reflective of new evidence. Updated recommendations for these treatment types are now found in separate treatment summaries located under 'Low Back Disorders - Surgical Considerations'.
The Guidelines were developed in response to rising expectations for improvements in the quality of care; increased expectations for good outcomes and medical safety; the need to decrease over utilization and to curb unproductive and even harmful interventions; and the need to reflect advances in healthcare based on the best available quality evidence. The Guidelines – which were developed, tested, and refined in healthcare practices – present essential evidence-based information to address the injured worker’s functional impairment and safely return him or her to work. The treatment approach takes a comprehensive view that encompasses the medical, health, psychosocial, and functional outcomes of the injured worker. This approach enables the Guidelines to be an integral, seamless part of treatment planning and case-management systems. The Guidelines are an important tool for physicians and other health care providers, and all others with responsibility for or involvement in worker health and workers’ compensation systems to optimize the health of injured workers.
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