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      How can we improve guideline use? A conceptual framework of implementability

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          Abstract

          Background

          Guidelines continue to be underutilized, and a variety of strategies to improve their use have been suboptimal. Modifying guideline features represents an alternative, but untested way to promote their use. The purpose of this study was to identify and define features that facilitate guideline use, and examine whether and how they are included in current guidelines.

          Methods

          A guideline implementability framework was developed by reviewing the implementation science literature. We then examined whether guidelines included these, or additional implementability elements. Data were extracted from publicly available high quality guidelines reflecting primary and institutional care, reviewed independently by two individuals, who through discussion resolved conflicts, then by the research team.

          Results

          The final implementability framework included 22 elements organized in the domains of adaptability, usability, validity, applicability, communicability, accommodation, implementation, and evaluation. Data were extracted from 20 guidelines on the management of diabetes, hypertension, leg ulcer, and heart failure. Most contained a large volume of graded, narrative evidence, and tables featuring complementary clinical information. Few contained additional features that could improve guideline use. These included alternate versions for different users and purposes, summaries of evidence and recommendations, information to facilitate interaction with and involvement of patients, details of resource implications, and instructions on how to locally promote and monitor guideline use. There were no consistent trends by guideline topic.

          Conclusions

          Numerous opportunities were identified by which guidelines could be modified to support various types of decision making by different users. New governance structures may be required to accommodate development of guidelines with these features. Further research is needed to validate the proposed framework of guideline implementability, develop methods for preparing this information, and evaluate how inclusion of this information influences guideline use.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Effects of computerized clinical decision support systems on practitioner performance and patient outcomes: a systematic review.

          Developers of health care software have attributed improvements in patient care to these applications. As with any health care intervention, such claims require confirmation in clinical trials. To review controlled trials assessing the effects of computerized clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) and to identify study characteristics predicting benefit. We updated our earlier reviews by searching the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Inspec, and ISI databases and consulting reference lists through September 2004. Authors of 64 primary studies confirmed data or provided additional information. We included randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect of a CDSS compared with care provided without a CDSS on practitioner performance or patient outcomes. Teams of 2 reviewers independently abstracted data on methods, setting, CDSS and patient characteristics, and outcomes. One hundred studies met our inclusion criteria. The number and methodologic quality of studies improved over time. The CDSS improved practitioner performance in 62 (64%) of the 97 studies assessing this outcome, including 4 (40%) of 10 diagnostic systems, 16 (76%) of 21 reminder systems, 23 (62%) of 37 disease management systems, and 19 (66%) of 29 drug-dosing or prescribing systems. Fifty-two trials assessed 1 or more patient outcomes, of which 7 trials (13%) reported improvements. Improved practitioner performance was associated with CDSSs that automatically prompted users compared with requiring users to activate the system (success in 73% of trials vs 47%; P = .02) and studies in which the authors also developed the CDSS software compared with studies in which the authors were not the developers (74% success vs 28%; respectively, P = .001). Many CDSSs improve practitioner performance. To date, the effects on patient outcomes remain understudied and, when studied, inconsistent.
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            How Can Research Organizations More Effectively Transfer Research Knowledge to Decision Makers?

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              Development and validation of an international appraisal instrument for assessing the quality of clinical practice guidelines: the AGREE project.

                (2003)
              International interest in clinical practice guidelines has never been greater but many published guidelines do not meet the basic quality requirements. There have been renewed calls for validated criteria to assess the quality of guidelines. To develop and validate an international instrument for assessing the quality of the process and reporting of clinical practice guideline development. The instrument was developed through a multi-staged process of item generation, selection and scaling, field testing, and refinement procedures. 100 guidelines selected from 11 participating countries were evaluated independently by 194 appraisers with the instrument. Following refinement the instrument was further field tested on three guidelines per country by a new set of 70 appraisers. The final version of the instrument contained 23 items grouped into six quality domains with a 4 point Likert scale to score each item (scope and purpose, stakeholder involvement, rigour of development, clarity and presentation, applicability, editorial independence). 95% of appraisers found the instrument useful for assessing guidelines. Reliability was acceptable for most domains (Cronbach's alpha 0.64-0.88). Guidelines produced as part of an established guideline programme had significantly higher scores on editorial independence and, after the publication of a national policy, had significantly higher quality scores on rigour of development (p<0.005). Guidelines with technical documentation had higher scores on that domain (p<0.0001). This is the first time an appraisal instrument for clinical practice guidelines has been developed and tested internationally. The instrument is sensitive to differences in important aspects of guidelines and can be used consistently and easily by a wide range of professionals from different backgrounds. The adoption of common standards should improve the consistency and quality of the reporting of guideline development worldwide and provide a framework to encourage international comparison of clinical practice guidelines.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Implement Sci
                Implementation Science : IS
                BioMed Central
                1748-5908
                2011
                22 March 2011
                : 6
                : 26
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Departments of Surgery; and Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; and Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                [2 ]Department of Oncology; Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
                [3 ]Department of Medicine; and Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Guidelines Advisory Committee at the Centre for Effective Practice, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                [4 ]Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; and Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                [5 ]Clinical Epidemiology; Department of Medicine, Centre for Best Practices, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
                Article
                1748-5908-6-26
                10.1186/1748-5908-6-26
                3072935
                21426574
                Copyright ©2011 Gagliardi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research

                Medicine

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