Clinical practice guidelines are “statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care, that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options”. In health care services, clinical guidelines are considered important instruments to improve and manage the care process. Important goals in developing and implementing guidelines are higher quality and improved cost-effectiveness of interventions, ideally resulting in improved health outcomes.
The growing body of knowledge in the field of clinical guidelines has provided opportunities for international collaboration. In 2002, the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) was founded to provide a network and partnerships for guideline organizations, implementers, researchers and other stakeholders in health care. G-I-N seeks to improve the quality of health care by promoting the systematic development of guidelines and their application to practice.
Despite a multitude of implementation strategies, research has demonstrated that guidelines are not readily implemented in every day clinical practice. The main bottlenecks for practitioners are attributable to knowledge, attitudes and factors concerning social, organizational and societal support. Because education is assumed to be the first step to behavioral change in clinical practice, a variety of educational interventions have been designed addressing knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Peer Assessment is an implementation strategy that aims at developing mutually accepted performance standards and realistic perceptions of actual performance. We will present the effectiveness of peer assessment strategies to enhance the implementation of clinical practice guidelines based on the results of two cluster-randomized clinical trials.
Disclosure of Interest None declared