Magazine article Drug Topics

How Pharmacists Can Find Good Clinical Guidelines

Magazine article Drug Topics

How Pharmacists Can Find Good Clinical Guidelines

Article excerpt

How can you judge the quality of clinical guidelines? Here are a few tips from some experts.

First, check the document's date. A fast-changing field such as AIDS can leave good guidelines outmoded if they are even a couple of years old, said Kate Pearson, R.Ph., M.Ph., deputy director of the Office of the Forum for Quality & Effectiveness in Health Care at the federal Agency for Health Care Policy & Research (AHCPR), which has produced numerous sets of guidelines.

Next one must ask, What's the reasoning behind the guidelines? Pearson and M. Lynn Crismon, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy at the University of Texas, Austin, agreed that data documentation is crucial. They said the ascending hierarchy of quality starts with guidelines produced by one person, rises to guidelines from one group in an institution, then consensus guidelines from opinions of a broader panel, and finally guidelines based on scientific literature.

The guideline group's sponsor may influence membership, scope of questions, and other basic information. …

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