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Medical News & Perspectives |

Groups Aim for Trustworthy Clinical Practice Guidelines

Mike Mitka, MSJ
JAMA. 2014;311(12):1187-1188. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.876.
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The federal National Guideline Clearinghouse, which makes available to physicians and the public thousands of clinical practice guidelines, is raising the bar for acceptance of such documents to improve their trustworthiness.

Beginning June 1, the clearinghouse will use the definition of clinical practice guidelines developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), as stated in the institute’s 2011 report Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust: “Clinical practice guidelines are statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options” (http://tinyurl.com/3t9hj8t). The IOM definition came about as a result of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, in which Congress asked the IOM to investigate the best methods for developing clinical practice guidelines.

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The National Guideline Clearinghouse says that authors of clinical practice guidelines must provide documentation that a guideline is based on a systematic review of the evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of recommended and alternative care options.

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