Issue: 2005 > June > editorial

Clinical guidelines to improve patient care

H. Wollersheim, J. Burgers, R. Grol


The aim of clinical guidelines is to improve quality of care
by translating new research findings into practice. There
is evidence that the following characteristics contribute to
their use: inclusion of specific recommendations, sufficient supporting evidence, a clear structure and an attractive lay out. In the process of formulating recommendations, implicit norms of the target users should be taken into account. Guidelines should be developed within a structured and coordinated programme by a credible central organisation. To promote their implementation, guidelines could be used as a template for local protocols, clinical pathways and interprofessional agreements.