Apr 6, 2014
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CLINICAL GUIDELINES

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Systematically developed statements which assist clinicians and patients to decide on appropriate treatments for specific conditions. The guidelines are attractive to health managers and patients because they are potentially able to reduce variation in clinical practice. This helps to ensure that patients receive the right treatment of an acceptable standard. In England and Wales, the NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL EXCELLENCE (NICE) is developing national guidelines with advice from health-care professionals and patients to improve clinical effectiveness of NHS care. Some doctors have reservations about guidelines because (1) health-care managers might use them primarily to contain costs; (2) inflexibility would discourage clinical innovations; (3) they could encourage litigation by patients. (See also HEALTH CARE COMMISSION; MEDICAL LITIGATION.)

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Medical Dictionary

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