Coming soon: On-line guidelines clearinghouse

By fall 1998, you should be able to access just about any clinical guideline on the Internet through a new on-line clearinghouse being built by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), American Association of Health Plans, and American Medical Association.

Called the National Guideline Clearinghouse, it will be available to consumers and clinicians and will contain standardized information for thousands of guidelines such as titles, sponsoring organizations, authors, and methodology used. It also will provide guideline abstracts and, where possible, the full text of guidelines.

It will compare guidelines on similar topics, with summaries covering major areas of agreement and disagreement. Additionally, the clearinghouse will provide topic-specific electronic mailing lists to enable registered users to communicate with one another on guideline development, dissemination, implementation, and use.

For details on the proposed clearinghouse, visit the AHCPR Web site at