American Journal of Medicine, internal medicine, medicine, health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, heart disease, drugs

A Review of Clinical Guidelines with Some Thoughts about Their Utility and Appropriate Use

“Guidelines” has become one of the most common buzzwords for medical practitioners in the 21st century in our search to define and measure quality in health care. Physicians and other health care workers, administrators, bureaucrats, and politicians have all become involved in discussions concerning the attainment of quality in our medical care system. This is not a new movement. Quality assurance, often referred to as best practices, has been a hot topic in hospitals and health care systems for more than 2 decades. Recently, politicians and bureaucrats in the federal government have begun discussing ways to improve health outcomes in the US, considering various combinations of strategic initiatives that would include electronic health records with embedded recommendations for best practices in diagnosis and therapy.

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— Joseph S. Alpert, MD

This article originally appeared in the July 2010 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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