Definition of Clinical Guidelines
The term ‘clinical guideline’ has synonyms that may elsewhere be considered to be broadly interchangeable. These include ‘guideline’, ‘health guideline’, ‘clinical practice guideline’, ‘evidence-based guideline’, ‘evidence-based guidance’ and ‘guidance’. For the purpose of consistency, the NCEC will use the term ‘clinical guideline’ in its work. The following identifies the specific meaning that should be inferred for this term.
Clinical guidelines are systematically developed statements, based on a thorough evaluation of the evidence, to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate healthcare for specific clinical circumstances, across the entire clinical spectrum.