Algorithms, Clinical Practice Guidelines, and Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans: Evidence-Based Patient Management Standards in Evolution.
Acad Med. 2014 Oct 7;
Authors: Sox HC, Stewart WF
In this issue, Farias and colleagues describe how to develop a clinical care pathway by using a structured, continuous learning process embedded within the day-to-day delivery of care. Their method is called Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs). A care pathway, such as a SCAMP, includes multiple decision points and related recommendations. The SCAMP process can test the validity of each decision point if clinicians document patient data and record their reasoning when they deviate from the recommended action at a decision point. The unique feature of SCAMPs is that they encourage dissent, unlike clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), algorithms, and bundled electronic health record protocols, which are designed to be followed. If a clinician deviates from the recommended action at a decision point, an explanation is required. This feedback, which should explain why a patient does not precisely "fit" the logic of the care pathway, may lead the SCAMP developers to modify the decision point.The authors of this Commentary argue that SCAMPs and CPGs, two approaches to developing clinical standards of care, are fundamentally equivalent. The key link between them is the recently described process of deconstructing a CPG into the many steps that are necessary to consistently apply it to clinical practice. The SCAMP process puts these steps to the test of daily practice.The Commentary ends with a list of foundational principles for developing standards of clinical care. These principles should apply to care pathways, algorithms, practice guidelines, or SCAMPs.
PMID: 25295966 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]