What are Clinical Practice Guidelines?
Clinical practice guidelines are evidenced-based practice recommendations designed to assist healthcare professionals in providing the best possible patient-centered care to their patients. The clinical practice guidelines for diabetes provide recommendations on screening, prevention, diagnosis, education, care, and management of diabetes.
Why Follow Clinical Practice Guidelines?
Following clinical practice guidelines can help your practice to be more patient-centered and evidenced-based. The guidelines provide a framework based on current best-evidence for you to use in making decisions surrounding patient care. They do not replace individual expertise, and they cannot be used in the absence of information specific to the patient being treated. Factors such as comorbidities and individual preferences need to be considered. Many patients have ideas about their care, and what they want to do may differ from clinical recommendations based on their own personal goals. In applying CPGs, it is also important to take into account the characteristics of the system in which one practices, and what resources are available to you as professional and to your patients. It is important to remember that these are “guidelines” and that situations will arise where you may not practice in full agreement with the recommendations. This is expected as every patient is unique and his or her care plan must be individualized.
Clinical Practice Guidelines
Canadian Diabetes Association
In Canada, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) produces Clinical Practice Guidelines that are updated every 5 years. This is done by a committee consisting of over 150 professional volunteers who review all the relevant evidence published on diabetes prevention and management. The data is then incorporated into the chapters to aid healthcare professionals in caring for Canadians living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. These guidelines are internationally recognized for quality, scientific rigour, and consistency.
American Diabetes Assiociation
In the USA, the American Diabetes Assiociation (ADA) produces Clinical Practice Recommendations that are published in their journal Diabetes Care as position statements and are reviewed regularly.