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Nursing 379: Nursing and Societal Forces

Resources and guidelines for students in Nursing 379 at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing.

Clinical Guidelines for Healthcare Practitioners

The Institute of Medicine defines clinical practice guidelines as "statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care . . . informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options."  Usually written by professional organizations or societies, clinical guidelines bring together expert consensus and evidence about the latest standards of care for specific patients and situations, in an easy-to-use format to improve decision-making and healthcare outcomes. 

The following organizations publish or compile guidelines to aid in healthcare decision-making:

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  A division of the US Dept of Health and Human Services, the mission of the AHRQ is to produce and make accessible evidence that will help improve the safety and quality of healthcare.
  • Guidelines and Measures  In July of 2018 the National Guideline Clearinghouse, a large repository of clinical practice guidelines made freely available online, closed permanently due to elimination of government funding.  The AHRQ's Guidelines and Measures site provides more information about the status of the NGC content in the face of this closure.
  • CMS Measure Inventory Tool From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the CMS Measures Inventory Tool allows users to search the quality measures and related materials to promote healthcare quality and quality improvement. 

 

Information for Patients & Consumers

Some agencies provide medical information that is intended not for healthcare practitioners but rather for patients and consumers. 

The websites below provide plain-language guidelines or wellness best practices for patients and their friends and families.

  • Medline Plus  From the National Institutes of Health.  Users can search treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of words, or view medical videos. Available in English or Spanish. 
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health Information  A website of the National Institutes of Health for the general public. 
  • Patients and Consumers  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) web page for healthcare consumers. 

Finding Guidelines on PubMed

You can also use PubMed.gov to search for clinical guidelines with the following steps:

  • Select PubMed from the library's list of databases at https://library.hunter.cuny.edu/databases/titles/p 
  • On the PubMed home page, select Advanced Search. 
  • From the drop-down menu select "Publication Type," and then type in "guideline" to filter your results.
  • Enter health condition or topic of interest in the row below.