Clinical practice guidelines derived from effectiveness, out-comes, and appropriateness research are the focus of intensive research and policy activity within the U.S. health care system. Although diverse in their structure, guidelines are intended to serve as tools by which scientifically valid and reliable standards of clinical practice can be implemented. Guidelines both incorporate and provide reliable information about the risks and benefits of treatment and management strategies for specific clinical conditions and/or the appropriate use of medical interventions. Proponents contend that well-designed practice guidelines will lead to more effective and efficient use of scarce medical resources and to improved clinical outcomes.
Originally published in: Quality Review Bulletin, v. 18, no. 12, December 1992, pp. 413-422.
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