IOM releases standards for developing clinical practice guidelines

The Institute of Medicine has released a report that recommends eight standards for developing clinical practice guidelines, and twenty-one standards for conducting systematic reviews of the comparative effectiveness of medical or surgical interventions.

 There are currently no universally accepted standards for developing systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines; the goal of the report is to recommend standards to enhance the quality and reliability of these tools.   

The eight recommended standards for developing clinical practice guidelines are:

  • Establishing transparency;
  • Management of conflict of interest;
  • Guideline development group composition;
  • Clinical practice guideline–systematic review intersection;
  • Establishing evidence foundations for and rating strength of recommendations
  • Articulation of recommendations;
  • External review; and
  • Updating.

The recommended standards for reviewing the effectiveness include:

  • Establishing a team with appropriate expertise and experience to conduct the systematic review;
  • Managing bias and conflict of interest of the team conducting the systematic review; and
  • Ensuring user and stakeholder input as the review is designed and conducted. 

Click here to read the full list of recommended standards.   

(Sources: AHA News Now,, March 23, 2011; Institute of Medicine,, March 23, 2011)