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Implementation of clinical practice guidelines in the provision of patient care has been modest, states the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, even though numerous guidelines applicable to a wide range of clinical services exist. Current standards neither require nor pose a barrier to their use.
The Joint Commission has proposed new standards for inclusion in the Leadership chapter of the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals that would facilitate organization use of guidelines, while recognizing that guidelines must be carefully reviewed and often must be modified at the local level to make them suitable for use. (See this month's and last month's "Quality-Co$t Connection" columns by Patrice Spath for tips on success at using guidelines for performance measurement activities.) The standards can be viewed and responded to on the Internet at http://www.jcaho.org/pubedmul/publicat/std_rel.htm.