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AHCPR Invites Clinical Practice Guidelines for Public/Private National Guideline Clearinghouse™

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Press Release Date: April 13, 1998

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) is inviting health care organizations as well as other public- and private-sector entities to submit their clinical practice guidelines for inclusion in the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC), a comprehensive electronic database. The request appears in today's Federal Register.

"The NGC Web site is a science-based shortcut that will offer one-stop access to thousands of clinical practice guidelines for anyone within reach of a computer," said AHCPR Administrator John M. Eisenberg, M.D. "With guideline summaries in a standardized format, this unique resource will allow users to compare and contrast guideline recommendations on similar topics. Ultimately, all of us will benefit from the availability of this information."

The Clearinghouse was developed in partnership with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP) to promote widespread access to guidelines. "The relative explosion of scientific literature, combined with increasing demands on physician time, has created a pressing need to provide physicians with easier access to credible, peer-reviewed scientific information," said Yank D. Coble, M.D., AMA Trustee and Chair of the AMA's Practice Parameter Partnership. "The American Medical Association believes that physician organizations that have developed clinical practice guidelines can greatly enhance their usefulness to physicians, patients and the public by including them in the National Guideline Clearinghouse™," Coble said.

The NGC will make clinical practice guidelines available to the public via the World Wide Web, beginning in the fall of 1998. "AAHP is proud to be a part of this unprecedented collaboration which will offer both providers and patients quick and easy access to state-of-the-art information," stated AAHP President and CEO Karen Ignagni. "We will strongly encourage member health plans developing guidelines to join in this important effort to create a national clearinghouse and extend to a broader population the benefits of their knowledge about delivering high-quality health care."

Each guideline entry in the Clearinghouse will include a structured abstract that describes how it was developed, a comparison of guidelines on similar topics, either the full text of the guideline or electronic links to the full text, and information on how to obtain the guideline. To be included in the NGC, guidelines must meet the following inclusion criteria.

  1. The clinical practice guideline contains systematically developed statements that include recommendations, strategies, or information that assists physicians and/or other health care practitioners and patients make decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.
  2. The clinical practice guideline was produced under the auspices of medical specialty associations; relevant professional societies, public or private organizations, government agencies at the Federal, State, or local level; or health care organizations or plans. A clinical practice guideline developed and issued by an individual not officially sponsored or supported by one of the above types of organizations does not meet the inclusion criteria for the National Guideline Clearinghouse™.
  3. Corroborating documentation can be produced and verified that a systematic literature search and review of existing scientific evidence published in peer reviewed journals was performed during the guideline development. A guideline is not excluded from the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ if corroborating documentation can be produced and verified detailing specific gaps in scientific evidence for some of the guideline's recommendations.
  4. The guideline is English language, current, and the most recent version produced. Documented evidence can be produced or verified that the guideline was either developed, reviewed, or revised within the last five years.

The NGC will receive guidelines on an ongoing basis. Organizations wishing to submit a guideline, should contact: Vivian Coates, ECRI, NGC Project Director, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298.

Select to access the complete text of the Federal Register notice.

For additional information, please contact AHCPR Press Office: Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864 (

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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