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What are Clinical Practice Guidelines?

Clinical practice guidelines are "recommendations intended to optimize patent care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options" (The Institute of Medicine, 2011). Different institutions use different guidelines to make treatment decisions, so when using a guideline to provide care, make sure the guideline is accepted at your institution. 

Learn more about how Clinical Practice Guidelines fit into the medical research process on the Evidence Based Practice page of this guide. 

For more information read About Systematic Evidence Reviews and Clinical Practice Guidelines (NIH) from the National Institutes of Health. 

Finding Clinical Practice Guidelines in CINAHL

Finding Clinical Practice Guidelines in PubMed

Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Web

Many institutions share their clinical practice guidelines on the web. When using web sources, remember to review the source for credibility

Here are a few reliable websites to start with: