APTA is set to launch an endorsement process that could help significantly increase the use of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in physical therapist practice. The plan, which would create a rigorous review system for internally and externally developed CPGs, was approved by the APTA Board of Directors at its December meeting.
Currently, APTA directly facilitates the development of CPGs through its sections, but the process can take 3–4 years to complete. Under the new plan, APTA will also review relevant internally and externally developed CPGs for their quality from a scientific perspective. This process will provide clinicians with high-quality useful CPGs that could help improve care for patients and clients.
The 3-step system begins with staff review to ensure the proposed CPG's accessibility, currency, and consistency with APTA policy. Guidelines passing this review advance to the association's PTNow Evidence-Based Practice Library (EBPL) team, which conducts a critical appraisal to ensure quality. Finally, the EBPL team will recommend endorsement or non-endorsement of the CPGs to the APTA Board. The Board will verify that the process for endorsement was completed properly..All officially endorsed guidelines will be designated with a special icon that will help APTA members easily recognize the status.
The endorsement system is part of the 2013–2014 APTA Strategic Plan to reduce unwarranted variation in care by increasing the number of peer-reviewed CPGs available to members.
To see the full discussion on this and other topics from the December Board of Directors meeting, watch the archived livestream of all open sessions.
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