About AiCPG

The Organization

The Alliance for the Implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines (“AiCPG” or “The Alliance”) is a non-profit organization created and operated exclusively for the charitable, educational and scientific purposes of freely disseminating evidence-based clinical practice guidelines information to the healthcare community in order to educate clinicians to improve patient care.

The Background

The closure of AHRQ’s National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) on July 16, 2018 created a significant information gap in the healthcare community. There was an avalanche of public backlash when the announcement came that NGC would be shutting its doors after nearly 20 years of operations. Among the loudest voices were the healthcare providers themselves. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), approximately 2.4 million healthcare professionals visited the NGC each year to find, understand, and follow clinical practice guidelines. These 2.4 million providers were left with no viable replacement option for accessing guidelines in a practical format at no cost. As such, the gap left by the closure of AHRQ’s NGC has prompted the creation of the AiCPG.

The Need

But why do we need a guidelines clearinghouse?

Increased pressure to provide high-quality, evidence-based care has driven the rapid proliferation of clinical practice guidelines. Since the first journal articles were published hundreds of years ago, the cumulative total in 2009 is estimated to have passed the 50 million mark in terms of the total number of scientific papers published. Thousands of new and updated medical guidelines from hundreds of medical societies and government organizations are published each year. The average length of a clinical guideline is in excess of 50 pages, and as such, no individual can keep abreast of all relevant publications. So what is the solution? A trustworthy source for synthesizing these guidelines into practical format, while also providing transparency into the methodology. Further, this project is too large for a single organization to dictate themselves, which is why an Alliance of stakeholders is the most appropriate solution.

The Governance

The AiCPG includes three main governing bodies – the Board of Directors, the Alliance Oversight Committee and the Executive Director. The Board of Directors is comprised of between 3-9 individuals and emphasizes individuals with clinical and/or medical informatics experience. The Board’s focus is on strategic decision making. The Alliance Oversight Committee is comprised of between 5-9 individual representatives from the various Allied Organizations. This committee sets all of the standards and protocols relating to: guideline appraisal criteria, submission process, advertising standards, digital technology, allocation of budget and more. The Executive Director’s job is to follow the strategies set by the Board and execute the policies set forth by the Alliance Oversight Committee.

The Transparency

The Ethics and Code of Conduct that The Alliance will uphold during the creation and management of the AiCPG Guideline Repository include:

01.

The Alliance will not have membership categories or membership fees, and does not require guideline developers to become allied organizations as a prerequisite to submit their guidelines.

02.

Guideline Developers will retain all copyrights to the works submitted to the AiCPG guideline repository, and the submission of their guidelines does not prevent them from working with any other organizations on the creation of guideline derivatives.

03.

The AiCPG Guideline Repository will always be free and available for individual, non-commercial use.

04.

The AiCPG Guideline Repository will not share user data or contact information with any third parties without explicit permission from both users and The Alliance Oversight Committee.

05.

The Alliance Oversight Committee is responsible for all decisions regarding advertisements and any activity involving fundraising.

06.

The Alliance will always be open to exploring strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations to further The Alliance’s mission.

07.

All grant funding, donations, and revenue generated will be used solely to create, maintain, and make improvements to the AiCPG Guideline Repository, its operations, and to further The Alliance’s mission.

08.

The Alliance Oversight Committee is responsible for all aspects of the Ethics and Code of Conduct.

The Differentiators

  • The guideline summaries will remain freely available for individuals. Rather than selling subscriptions, funds will be raised via donations (e.g. Wikipedia model). Should the operating expenses exceed donations, banner advertisements will be offered as a contingency to cover costs. This will ensure a sustainable model that can survive any changes in political climates or budgets.
  • Allied Organizations (i.e. guideline authoring organizations) will be given a voice and the opportunity to shape the direction of this important resource, manage the policies surrounding submission and inclusion and prioritize future additions and enhancements.
  • The 2011 IOM Standards will not be the sole inclusion criteria, however users will have the option to search and filter guidelines that meet certain aspects of the criteria (e.g. "methodologist involvement").
  • The main focus of the clearinghouse will be on implementation. The streamlined summary formatting and the improved search and user experience will reflect this.
  • Guideline developing organizations will be provided with more data and analytics to support clinical guideline programs (i.e., budgets, research/development, staffing).

Free Guideline Resources

While we are planning to launch our new clinical practice guideline tool in Q1 2019, we know you use guidelines every day. To help fill the gap between the closure of the National Guideline Clearinghouse and the launch of our tool, we’ve compiled a list of free medical guideline tools available today. These resources are ready for you to use now! 

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