Two new reports from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend standards to enhance the quality and reliability of clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews for informing health care decisions.
Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust recommends 8 standards to ensure the objective, transparent development of guidelines. Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews recommends 21 standards to ensure objective, transparent, and scientifically valid reviews.
The standards recommended that members of guideline development groups should not have intellectual, institutional, financial, or other forms of conflicts whenever possible. Getting input from consumers, health care professionals, insurers, and other intended users can boost the quality of reviews and guidelines and make them more relevant, says IOM. Additionally, systematic reviews should include a method to collect information from individuals with relevant perspectives and expertise. Contributors to guidelines and reviews should publicly acknowledge their potential biases and conflicts and be excluded from the process if their participation would diminish the evaluation's credibility.