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Putting Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines into Practice: An Academic Pediatric Center's Experience

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Background: Clinical practice guidelines can provide a much-needed interface between research and practice, pointing the way to higher quality, evidence-based, and more cost-effective care. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center developed a formal process for the production of 29 evidence-based guidelines and companion tools.

Components of Development and Implementation: Clinical practice guidelines and their companion documents are developed by inter-professional teams that are led by community physicians and that include hospital-based physicians, nurses, other allied health professionals, and patients or parents. An education coordinator develops an education plan that outlines specific clinical practice changes and expected outcomes to be monitored. Guideline evidence is embedded into companion documents and processes available at the point of care. Electronic order sets for treatments and medications have been developed using available guidelines as sources of evidence. All guideline-based order sets include an automatic order for use of the associated clinical pathway. It is important to create and maintain an evidence-based environment in an academic medical center.

Conclusions: Keys to success include a rigorous methodology, tools that place the evidence in the hands of providers at the site of care, feedback on outcomes, and an environment that encourages evidence-based care.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-04-01

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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