What are Clinical Practice Guidelines?
As defined by the Institute of Medicine: "Clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances."1 “These guidelines are not fixed protocols that must be followed, but are intended for health care professionals and providers to consider…”
1.Institute of Medicine. (1990). Clinical Practice Guidelines: Directions for a New Program. M.J. Field and K.N. Lohr (eds.) Washington, DC: National Academy Press (page 39).