The federal government's official clearinghouse for practice guidelines will adopt more stringent standards for acceptance in the coming months. The new standards, adopted from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), include requirements for content, authorship, methodology, format, accessibility, and currency.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) will implement the new standards beginning June 1. The changes result from a 2008 directive from the federal government for IOM to identify best practice for developing clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). A full report, titled Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust, is available at the IOM website.
According to a recent article in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, "The major changes from the older criteria are that documentation must be provided showing that a guideline is based on a systematic review of the evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of the recommended and alternative care options." The JAMA article described the change as one that is "raising the bar" for CPGs at the NGC.
Need more information on practice guidelines and other evidence-based practice resources? Check out APTA's new Resources for the Development of Evidence-Based Documents webpage designed to help you find current guidelines and research and learn how to contribute to the growing pool of evidence-based physical therapy research.
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