The medical royal colleges and faculties invest considerable time and resources into the development of clinical guidelines. Therefore taking steps to understand what factors can improve their ultimate implementation and acceptance is essential. This short paper shares the key findings from a study involving all the medical royal colleges, faculties and a number of NHS Trusts. It seeks to describe the factors that have emerged as significant in improving best practice in guideline development and dissemination.
A number of factors have emerged, which, when acted on, should enhance the quality and take-up of college and faculty clinical guidelines.
Eight key actions have been identified. The first four relate to the development of guidance and the latter four to its implementation:
1. Select topics mindfully
2. Follow common standards
3. Use a common format and style
4. Allow for local clinical judgement
5. Communicate effectively
6. Evaluate implementation
7. Measure success against outcomes
8. Link college/faculty functions effectively