ECRI Institute to Continue Clinical Guideline Work Shuttered by Federal Government

When the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced that the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) website would go dark on July 17 due to a lack of funding, healthcare professionals protested vocally. They clamored to know where they could access a centralized source for trustworthy, evidence-based information on clinical practice guidelines.

ECRI Institute, the independent nonprofit organization that the United States federal government relied on to develop and maintain NGC since its inception 20 years ago, announces plans to continue providing this critical service to the healthcare community.

“ECRI Institute’s team of highly trained guideline and measure experts are taking the lead to ensure the global healthcare community has access to guidelines,” says Karen M. Schoelles, MD, SM, FACP, director of the ECRI Institute-Penn Medicine Evidence-based Practice Center and director of the Health Technology Assessment Consulting Services at  ECRI Institute.

ECRI Institute’s new guideline resource will provide a centralized repository of current, properly vetted evidence-based clinical practice guideline summaries and other information. An interim website will launch this fall, with many additional features planned for the near future.

The initial site will enable users to search and retrieve ECRI’s summarizations of clinical practice guidelines from hundreds of participating guideline developers, and will include unbiased evaluations on the rigor and transparency of guidelines against the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) standards for trustworthiness.

“Not all guidelines are created equal. Clinicians want to know what stands behind a particular recommendation, and whether they can trust that recommendation,” says Jane Jue, MD, MSc, medical director, ECRI Institute. “Trustworthy guidance is the real value that we will be providing.”

The second phase will feature advanced search capabilities, support for guideline implementation and decision-making, and an enhanced user interface.

“For 20 years, the medical societies and professional associations that develop clinical practice guidelines have trusted ECRI Institute to maintain the integrity of their guidance and disseminate it to a larger audience,” says Lisa Haskell, MSOT, project manager, ECRI Institute. “We are delighted to be able to continue those relationships.”

Participating guideline developers will be able to access and contribute to the website free of charge.

Source: ECRI Institute