Clinical guidelines (in healthcare) are a set of systematically developed statements or recommendations about appropriate health care for specific clinical conditions. They provide a guide to best practice, a framework against which decisions can be made, and may also be used as a benchmark against which clinical practice can be evaluated. Clinical guidelines aim to educate rather than compel health providers in their day to day clinical practice.
Evidence based clinical guidelines link their recommendations to the scientific evidence which supports them. A rigorous development process is followed, including a systematic search to identify all relevant research, an appraisal of the quality of each research study, and grading recommendations according to the level of evidence. Evidence based guidelines also require their developers to ensure that a multi-disciplinary approach is considered, undertake consultation with consumer and carer groups, and recommend strategies for the implementation of the guideline in practice .
WorkCoverSA encourages health providers to refer to clinical guidelines to inform their management of specific injuries. Links have been provided to guidelines for a number of common injury types that adhere to the abovementioned methodology. These include those developed by other compensation authorities, and medical bodies such as the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia)
Accident Compensation Commission (New Zealand)
National Guideline Clearinghouse (United States)
The Cochrane Library (United States)
European Commission Research Directorate-General
New Zealand Guidelines Group