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Clinical Practice Guidelines (U.S.)
“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.” 1
There is no one, central resource to locate all professional practice guidelines, so the following resources and professional association websites are recommended to locate US based guidelines across clinical specialties.
The easiest way to locate a professional practice guideline might be a journal citation database since guidelines are often published in the journal literature. They are also typically free to access and read. For example, in PubMed limit your results to the Article type (or publication type) "Practice Guideline".
(AAFP) American Academy of Family Physicians: Clinical Practice Guidelines
"The AAFP represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide, as the only medical society devoted solely to primary care."
APTA Clinical Practice Guidelines
You must be a member of the American Physical Therapy Association to access the content from this portal.
Clinical Evidence-based Reports
The EPCs review all relevant scientific literature on clinical, behavioral, and organization and financing topics to produce evidence reports and technology assessments. These reports are used for informing and developing coverage decisions, quality measures, educational materials and tools, guidelines, and research agendas. The EPCs also conduct research on methodology of systematic reviews.
Clinical Guidelines and Recommendations from the American College of Physicians
"ACP Guidelines strive to meet the standards for development as set by the National Academies of Medicine and the Guidelines International Network. "
ECRI Guidelines Trust
"This publicly available guideline repository was created by the same team that developed and maintained the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's National Guideline Clearinghouse™ for more than 20 years". The portal is not yet as comprehensive in content as the NCG. You will need to register for a free account in order to access the guidelines.
ePSS Electronic Preventive Services Selector
Preventive TaskForce is designed to help primary care clinicians identify clinical preventive services that are appropriate for their patients. Use the tool to search and browse U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on the web or on your PDA or mobile device.
"Guideline Central is currently working with a handful of other organizations to establish a new non-profit initiative which will aim to fill the gap left by the sudden closure of AHRQ’s National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). This new initiative will include a database of quick-reference guideline summaries, along with a focus on developing a repository of various guideline implementation tools (including machine-computable guidelines for EHRs). This new database will be made available to all healthcare providers in both web and mobile app formats, and will be available for free."
TRIP is a free clinical search engine designed to allow users to find high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care. TRIP includes links to systematic reviews, EBM synopses, professional guidelines, controlled clinical trials, and "key primary research."
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations for Primary Care Practice
"The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention who systematically reviews the evidence of effectiveness and develops recommendations for clinical preventive services. "
Veterans Administration/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines
"Implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines is one strategy VHA has embraced to improve care by reducing variation in practice and systematizing “best practices”. Guidelines address patient cohorts, serve to reduce errors, and provide consistent quality of care and utilization of resources throughout and between the VA and DoD health care systems."
UpToDate® is a physician-authored clinical decision support resource that assists clinicians with point-of-care decisions. This resources also points to professional society guidelines in the US and internationally as part of their topic presentations.