Administration Scraps Medical Best Practice Guideline Website
By Consumers for Quality Care, on July 24, 2018
The Trump administration has scrapped the National Guideline Clearinghouse website, guideline.gov. The website housed an online database of best practice guidelines for doctors, other medical professionals, and researchers, Vox reports.
The National Guideline Clearinghouse’s repository of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents was “a one-stop shop for doctors who were trying to figure out the best way to treat their patients and wanted to find out the medical consensus.” It offered research and guidelines from the U.S. and around the world in an easily-searchable, comprehensive online database. The National Guideline Clearinghouse is no longer available as of July 16 due to budget cuts, according to the Trump administration.
Nearly 200,000 people visited the website each month. In part, many turned to the clearinghouse website to obtain relevant guidelines for issues and illnesses that could be quickly and easily understood.
The value of the clearinghouse was that it put guidelines through a vetting process, allowing doctors to have more faith in their objectivity, and that it put all of them in one place rather than forcing doctors to scrounge through various academic journals and websites… There was a benefit to having an unbiased party — the federal government, in this case — collecting this information. That prevented conflicts of interest from getting in the way of good medicine.
The medical research and practitioner communities urged the administration not to shutter the website, emphasizing the importance of physicians’ access to the guidelines in order “to provide high quality, value-based care.” Many of these groups worked to preserve the information housed in at guidelines.gov and some groups are working to fill the information void left by its closure by creating a similar resource.