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 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.
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 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 Ethics and Code of Conduct that The Alliance will uphold during the creation and management of the AiCPG Guideline Repository include:
While we are planning to launch our new clinical practice guideline tool in the near future, 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!