Best Practices - Clinical guidelines

Hereby we launch a new series of posts on best practices. Time-to-time recommendations and eminent articles will be featured here hoping to help our readers in the various adjoin fields adjoin to science and technology behind medical robots. 

Have you ever wondered about the evaluation and quality of guidelines and protocols? 
Here is a great article on "What makes a good clinical guideline?" from Rebecca Broughton and Barrie Rathbone. you can also find an evalauation sheet there for further use. 

Guidelines "reduce unacceptable or undesirable variations in practice and provide a focus for discussion among health professionals and patients. They enable professionals from different disciplines to come to an agreement about treatment and devise a quality framework, against which
practice can be measured. Guidelines can help commissioners and purchasers to make informed decisions and provide managers with a useful framework for assessing treatment costs."
Not to be mixed with protocols (that are to set out "precise, rigid, sequence of activities to be adhered to in the management of a specific condition.") or Care Pathways (that "determine locally agreed, multidisciplinary practice, based on guidelines and evidence for a specific patient group. Form part/all of the clinical record which documents care given and helps to evaluate outcomes.")

Good clinical guidelines should be:
● "Valid– leading to the results expected of them.
● Reproducible– if using the same evidence, other guideline groups would come to the same results.
● Cost-effective – reducing the inappropriate use of resources.
● Representative/multidisciplinary– by involving key groups and their interests.
● Clinically applicable– patient populations affected should be unambiguously defined.
● Flexible– by identifying the expectations relating to recommendations  as well as patient preferences.
● Clear– unambiguous language, which is readily understood by clinicians and patients, should be used.
● Reviewable– the date and process of review should be stated.
● Amenable to clinical audit– the guidelines should be capable of  translation into explicit audit criteria."

So where are we regarding Guidelines for medical robots? Not too far...
If you know of more initiatives, let us know!


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