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Can J Cardiol. 2008 Oct;24(10):753-7.

AGREEing on Canadian cardiovascular clinical practice guidelines.

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University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.


The use of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), particularly the routine implementation of evidence-based cardiovascular health maintenance and disease management recommendations, affords both expert and nonexpert practitioners the opportunity to achieve better, and at least theoretically similar, patient outcomes. However, health care practitioners are often stymied in their efforts to follow even well-researched and well-written CPGs as a consequence of contradictory information. The purposeful integration and harmonization of Canadian cardiovascular CPGs, regardless of their specific risk factor or clinical management focus, is critical to their widespread acceptance and implementation. This level of cooperation and coordination among CPG groups and organizations would help to ensure that their clinical practice roadmaps (ie, best practice recommendations) contain clear, concise and complementary, rather than contradictory, patient care information. Similarly, the application of specific tools intended to improve the quality of CPGs, such as the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) assessment tool, may also lead to improvements in CPG quality and potentially enhance their acceptance and implementation.

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