Predictors of the Growing Influence of Clinical Practice Guidelines

March 27, 2007
Journal of General Internal Medicine Ann S. O'Malley, Hoangmai H. Pham, James D. Reschovsky

The proportion of primary care physicians reporting that clinical practice guidelines had a very large or large effect on their practice increased significantly from 1997 to 2005, from 16.4 percent to 38.7 percent. The corresponding change for specialists was 18.9 percent to 28.2 percent. Factors contributing to the growth in the use of guidelines include the spread of information technology (IT), an increase in the impact that quality measures and profiling have on compensation, and an increase in the proportion of practice revenue under capitation or derived from Medicaid. Promotion of wider adoption of health IT and financial incentives linked to quality measures may facilitate further growth in the impact of clinical practice guidelines.

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