Government shuts down website used for medical guideline assistance

Government shuts down website used for medical guideline assistance

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Doctors and providers who use the National Guideline Clearinghouse website to gain access to clinical practice guidelines for elderly medical conditions and more will no longer have access to the website.

The government has shut the site down due to lack of funding, but according to an announcement made by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the US Department of Health and Human Services, there has been some interest for the website from unnamed stakeholders. However, the agency warned that there is no timeline as to when the site will go live again.

"It's a spot where you can go to have all of the guidelines in one site or many of the guidelines in one site," said Dr. Michael Munger, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians to CNN. "You can browse by specialty; you can browse by what the organization was that was contributing; all of those are really nice features to be able to utilize.”

When the site closed, there were 1,416 guideline summaries available free of charge. However, according to a 2011 article by a committee of the Institute of Medicine, there were questions surrounding the validity of the website.

“The National Guideline Clearinghouse is a highly useful guideline dissemination tool.... However, the [clearinghouse's] contribution may be of questionable value when listing guidelines [provide] too little information for an informed reader to judge quality and trustworthiness."

 

Munger said to CNN that despite some imperfections, “It's really been a good resource for family physicians, and we would like to see it move forward."

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Catherine Marucci
Catherine Marucci

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