Clinical practice guidelines portal
The Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal has been developed to assist clinicians and policy-makers access Australian clinical practice guidelines through a single entry point. All guidelines have been assessed against selection criteria, modified from those used by the United States National Guidelines Clearinghouse, and adapted to the Australian context.
The Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal can be accessed at: www.clinicalguidelines.gov.au.
Organisations that have developed an Australian clinical practice guideline and would like it considered for inclusion on the portal should send a copy for assessment to the Portal Administrator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clinical practice guidelines in development register
The Guidelines in Development Register contains information about clinical practice guidelines in development in Australia. Linked to the portal, it has been designed to help reduce duplication of guidelines and to allow guideline developers to collaborate with other developers in common areas of interest. This will further assist policy-makers and guideline funders to better coordinate guideline development activities in Australia.
Organisations currently planning, developing or revising guidelines for national, state or local use are encouraged to submit their details online at: www.clinicalguidelines.gov.au/in-development
All guideline developers intending to seek NHMRC approval must list their guideline in development on the guidelines in development register at least eight months prior to public consultation.
Reporting on Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines
NHMRC published a national study on the characteristics of clinical practice guidelines (Medical Journal of Australia 2010; 192 (9): 490-494). This study examines the scope and quality of clinical practice guidelines produced or reviewed in Australia between 2003 and 2007, and provides a useful platform to understand gaps and areas for improvement in the development of high quality guidelines.
Of the 313 guidelines identified in the study:
- 29% were evidence-documented, that is included some specific details of the evidence search and appraisal process
- 52% of the evidence-documented guidelines specified a review date
- 53% were produced or funded by federal or state government agencies
- 70% of guidelines made no mention of competing interests of members of the guideline development group.
The study concluded that more transparency in documenting the guideline development process is needed, as is a coordinated national approach for developing and updating guidelines.
The abstract of this paper can be obtained at: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2010/192/9/australian-clinical-practice-guidelines-national-study
NHMRC has compiled a second report on the characteristics of Australian clinical practice guidelines based on guidelines identified for the Clinical Practice Guidelines portal. The Report on Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines 2012 provides details on the development, funding and quality of 781 national and state/territory clinical practice guidelines in Australia developed or updated between 2005 and 2011. Only 4% of these guidelines were approved and issued by NHMRC. Upcoming review dates are also included for guidelines currently accessible through the portal.
The Report includes information about who is producing guidelines in Australia and who they are producing them for, clinical topics covered by guidelines, how many guidelines are approved by the NHMRC, conflict of interest declaration documentation and consumer involvement.
Report findings include that:
- State and Territory Governments developed 23% of Australian guidelines published in the 7 year period, and 17% of those published in 2011.
- Half of guidelines (50%) produced in the 7 year period relate to national health priority areas.
- NHMRC approved and issued guidelines constitute 4% of Australian clinical practice guidelines produced in the 7 year period.
- Conflict of interest declaration documentation rates are steadily improving but from a low base, standing at 15% in 2011, from 2% in 2005.
- The report identifies only 14% of Australian guidelines demonstrating any evidence of consumer involvement between 2005 and 2011.
Australian Guideline Developers Network
The Australian Guideline Developers Network was established by the NHMRC in 2010 to support a national approach to improve the quality of clinical practice guidelines in Australia. The Network is a community where guideline developers can share their knowledge and experience, work collaboratively and identify current and emerging trends in guideline development.
Several national workshops have been held to discuss priority issues identified by guideline developers. Please refer to the workshop proceedings below for more information. NHMRC is currently considering the future of the Network. Further information will be provided in due course.