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J Am Coll Radiol. 2004 Feb;1(2):92-7.

Practice guidelines: the radiology perspective.

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  • 1St. Joseph Radiology Associates, Houston, Texas 77227-7705, USA. mjgmd@aol.com


Clinical practice guidelines have emerged as a reality for medical practitioners over the past 20 years. Although virtually all groups interested in the development of practice guidelines hope for improvements in patient care, secondary expectations vary widely among those using them. Their use in daily practice by physicians has met with resistance from barriers including concerns of "cookbook" medicine, a loss of autonomy, and increased professional liability. The recent experience of the ACR in addressing these challenges illustrates that physicians are receptive to steps perceived to mitigate the risks accompanying the use of guidelines as well as to efforts to increase their understanding of implementing guidelines in clinical practice. The experiences of other medical societies and an inventory of future trends reveal additional challenges associated with the use of practice guidelines, as third parties look to guidelines as points of reference for gauging the performance of health care providers.

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