April 1996 Bulletin

Academy approves new work group to oversee guidelines development

The Board of Directors, meeting in Atlanta in February, approved a proposal by the Oversight Committee on Guidelines to redirect the Academy's approach to developing and evaluating clinical guidelines.

Aaron Rosenberg, MD, chairman of the Oversight Committee on Guidelines, presented the proposal which included a status report on the Academy's clinical algorithm and clinical policies projects and a request to establish a permanent work group to assist his committee with its guidelines development, revision, and evaluation responsibilities. The permanent work group, known as the Evidence Analysis Work Group, will be comprised of orthopaedic surgeons representing expertise in hip, knee, spine, hand, shoulder, foot/ankle, pediatrics and sports medicine. Two general orthopaedists also will be recruited for the work group.

The work group is charged with creating and overseeing Academy protocols for guidelines development and revision, identifying and prioritizing musculoskeletal research needs, and critically reviewing and assessing guidelines developed by external organizations. To create long-term expertise in guidelines development and assessment, members of the work group will attend a training program in the fall on how to:

Members of the work group will be able to revise the Academy's clinical guidelines, based on the submission of additional evidence, i.e., outcomes data and clinical study findings, and critically assess clinical guidelines developed by other organizations. As its first project, the work group will scientifically evaluate the levels of evidence support contained in the Academy's draft clinical algorithms. This information will provide the Academy with a means to identify musculoskeletal research needs, issue recommendations for the collection of outcomes data and/or submission of grant applications in these areas, and determine the areas in which future guidelines should be developed.

The Oversight Committee on Guidelines strongly supported the Academy's ongoing efforts to collaborate with other medical specialties, managed care organizations and other agencies in the future development of musculoskeletal guidelines.

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