Recent Updates to ACC/AHA Clinical Practice Guidelines

The formatting, development and presentation of ACC/American Heart Association's clinical practice guidelines continue to evolve to meet the needs of health care professionals.

Cardiology Magazine ImageGlenn N. Levine, MD, FACC

In a recent report published March 20 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Glenn N. Levine, MD, FACC, immediate past chair of the Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines, et al., outline several of the changes that have taken place over the last few years.

Of note, the "modular knowledge chunk" format was recently introduced, with related recommendations grouped together in one table. This format has been used in recent guidelines, including bradycardia and blood cholesterol.

The guidelines have also become shorter, with supplemental information available separately online, allowing for the guideline to focus on the recommendations themselves.

In order to highlight the most important changes or overarching principles, all guideline document now include a "Top 10 Take-Home Messages" list. The list "serves as a form of abstract, highlighting for the busy practitioner the key take-home messages of the guideline," the authors explain.

In terms of recent changes to the guideline development process, evidence review committees have been implemented. In addition, there has been a shift from creating guidelines based on procedures to guidelines based on conditions.

Looking ahead, the Task Force notes that "a dedicated guideline on the evaluation of chest pain, both in the office/clinic setting and in the emergency department," has been commissioned.

"It is hoped and believed that these recent innovations and modifications will serve to improve guidelines and their dissemination to point-of-care practitioners devoted to improving cardiovascular health," the Task Force concludes.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Dyslipidemia, Implantable Devices, Lipid Metabolism, Nonstatins

Keywords: American Heart Association, Bradycardia, Cardiology, Chest Pain, Emergency Service, Hospital, Cholesterol

< Back to Listings