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Practice Guidelines: A New Reality in Medicine I. Recent Developments

Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH
Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(9):1811-1818. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390200025005.
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• There is growing interest in the use of practice guidelines for physicians as a means of reducing inappropriate care, controlling geographic variations in practice patterns, and making more effective use of health care resources. Recent developments at the national health policy level suggest that practice guidelines will play an increasingly prominent role in the practice of medicine. The federal government has created a new US Public Health Service agency with responsibility for practice guidelines. Guidelines have been developed by more than 35 physician organizations and specialty societies. The American Medical Association and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies have endorsed practice guidelines and are organizing specialty societies to set policy on the subject. Academic medical centers have formed a research consortium on practice guidelines. Independent research centers (eg, the RAND Corporation and the Institute of Medicine) are developing methods for assessing appropriateness and setting guidelines. Other groups, such as hospitals, insurers, managed care plans, and private enterprises, are also directly involved. The implications of these developments are far reaching.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:1811-1818)


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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