Internet site for clinical guidelines coming soon

Health care risk managers and clinicians soon will have a single source for clinical practice guidelines, according to a recent announcement by U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) SecretaryDonna E. Shalala.

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research in Washington, DC, an agency of the HHS, will work with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans to develop the new clearinghouse. The information will be provided through an Internet site, which may be ready by Fall 1998, Shalala says.

The national clearinghouse is needed because the development and use of clinical practice guidelines have increased sharply in recent years. Because there are so many different guidelines and sources for them, it can be difficult for health care professionals to find and access them.

In addition to acting as a single resource, the national clearinghouse will provide a standardized format, abstracts, and comparisons of guidelines on similar topics.