Reference Manual Changes Coming Fall of 2017

The Evidence-Based Dentistry Committee (EBDC) and Council on Clinical Affairs deliberated long and hard about proposing the use of a collective heading, Recommendations, in the Reference Manual to distinguish guidelines from definitions, oral health care polices and resources.

The EBDC proposes the use of two subcategories of Recommendations: Clinical Practice Guidelines and Best Practices. The distinction is determined by the methodology employed to develop the recommendations. Clinical Practice Guidelines, as redefined by the Institute of Medicine, are "statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options." Best Practices, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are "the best clinical or administrative practice or approach at the moment, given the situation, the consumer’s or community’s needs and desires, the evidence about what works for this situation/need/desire, and the resources available." Best Practices would also include guidelines peripherally related to clinical care, such as informed consent and record-keeping procedures.

These changes are in response to evolving guideline standards in the larger health care community.


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