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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Guideline Information

Clinical Practice Guidelines
Development and Implementation of the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
Frequently Asked Questions

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Technical Reports

Current Validity of AHRQ Clinical Practice Guidelines

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Agency Press Releases
Date   Title
5/7/08 New Evidence Provides Clinicians with Better Tools To Help Smokers Quit

Research Findings

Research Activities, July 2008:
Women over 40 responded to changes in mammogram recommendations
Hundreds of patients would need to undergo spirometry to defer a single acute exacerbation of COPD
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that at-risk men and women be screened for certain sexually transmitted infections
Emergency departments vary in their approach to psychiatric emergencies, underscoring the need for standards

Research Activities, June 2008:
Clinical practice guidelines in musculoskeletal disorders are often based on expert opinion

Research Activities, April 2008:
Cost-effectiveness of primary care treatment of sinusitis depends on individual, societal, and payer's perspectives

Research Activities, January 2008:
Some women with breast cancer do not receive adjuvant treatments recommended by guidelines
Following recommended guidelines to manage cardiovascular disease improves patient outcomes
Internal medicine physicians find it more difficult to apply clinical guidelines to patients with multiple medical conditions

Research Activities, December 2007:
Colorectal cancer screening can be improved at primary care practices

Research Activities, October 2007:
Primary care doctors should encourage colorectal cancer screening and clarify that screening is not just for those with symptoms
One-third of patients with acute coronary syndrome and diabetes do not have their blood sugar assessed before hospital discharge

Research Activities, April 2007:
Use of asthma care guidelines reduces emergency visits and improves asthma care in children
Primary care clinicians often fail to follow practice guidelines when treating patients with sore throats

Research Activities, March 2007:
Factors such as disease status and sex affect adherence to drug prescribing guidelines for hypertension
Guidelines can help paramedics select which drugs to use to facilitate prehospital endotracheal intubation

Research Activities, January 2007:
National guidelines and clinical evidence only modestly influence prescribing of antihypertensive agents

Research Activities, November 2006:
Oncology nurses tend to follow guidelines to alleviate post-prostatectomy symptoms

Research Activities, April 2006
More intense guideline implementation results in more patients treated appropriately for pneumonia
Clinician recommendations for pneumonia vaccination play a key role in vaccination rates

Research Activities, June 2005:
Despite revised guidelines, most obstetrician/gynecologists continue to overscreen low-risk women for cervical cancer

Research Activities, February 2005:
Task Force recommends screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm for male smokers and former smokers ages 65 to 75

Research Activities, January 2005:
Many kidney dialysis patients are not properly treated for high cholesterol
Controlling diet and physical activity can help obese and overweight children lose weight

Research Activities, July 2004:
Selective use of CT scan and ultrasound to help diagnose appendicitis should markedly reduce unnecessary surgeries

Research Activities, June 2004:
Guidelines can help to distinguish anthrax from influenza in patients with flu-like illness and exposure to anthrax
Primary care of adults with chronic acid-related disorders could be improved if more doctors followed treatment guidelines
Researchers identify five information technologies that have great potential to improve patient safety for children

Research Activities, March 2004:
Relying on clinical guidelines to treat young infants with fevers may not improve outcomes
Studies show low physician adherence to clinical guidelines for managing pneumonia and heart disease

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AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care