Background: Clinical guidelines face demands for heightened methodological standards; more stakeholder engagement, including patients, healthcare consumers, and working clinicians; and less costly and more effective healthcare delivery. These challenges define a crisis within the clinical guideline movement.
Proposed solution: The demands on clinical guidelines call for collaboration and widened engagement of stakeholders in all phases of guideline development through adoption and implementation. Collaboration and engagement requires sharing of expertise, perspectives, and experience among individuals. Specially structured conference experiences are capable of fostering this process. The Evidence-Based Guidelines Affecting Policy Practice and Stakeholders (E-GAPPS III) conference is designed to accomplish this. The conference takes place on March 20-21, 2017 at the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), an independent public health institution on the Upper East Side of New York City.
Objectives: The conference will offer an interactive and engaging framework aimed at fostering new, durable collaborations across related guideline efforts as well as new relationships between guideline developers, implementers, and stakeholders, including consumer and patient advocates and clinical practitioners.
Activities: The two-day E-GAPPS conference will involve formal presentations, plenary panels, and interactive breakout sessions that will lay the conceptual groundwork and also provide the social context within which new relationships can be formed. The event will culminate in a facilitated “open space” session from which provisional collaborative and stakeholder relationships will emerge.
Projected outcomes and outputs: The project team will assess gains in knowledge among conference participants by comparing their self-assessments immediately before and immediately at the close of the conference. The team will assess their perceptions of conference effectiveness in facilitating networking with individuals involved in diverse aspects of the guideline process. Investigators will identify and track newly formed relationships at the close of the conference and will assess their durability nine months later. Finally, the team will identify facilitators and barriers to durability of those relationships.
Patient and stakeholder engagement: Stakeholders play an active role in all phases of conference design and planning. The Conference Planning Committee (CPC) has included two patient and consumer advocate members, Anne Lyddiatt, Patient Partner Program and National Trainer SPOR, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Canada, and Bill Vaughan, former board member of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. Vaughan is affiliated with Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE). Both have taken part in the conference calls of the E-GAPPS III CPC. Vaughan and Dr. Kay Dickersin of CUE are co-investigators on the E-GAPPS project. Patient and consumer conference participants are being recruited through recommendations of CPC members and in consultation with CUE. The E-GAPPS CPC includes active clinical practitioners and members of medical specialty societies who will help recruit clinician stakeholder attendees.
Project collaborators: Guidelines International Network North America and NYAM are the principal partners in the E-GAPPS project. They will work closely with CUE to develop the detailed plan for consumer participation and recruitment and with other organizations including the Council of Medical Specialty Societies to maximize stakeholder engagement and participation.