The COGS Statement on Guideline Standardization
Welcome to the home page for COGS, the Conference on
Guideline Standardization. The COGS statement was produced following an invitational meeting of experts -- bringing together
developers, disseminators, and implementers for a common purpose — held in New Haven, Connecticut on April 26, 2002.
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- The purpose of the COGS statement is to define a standard for guideline reporting that will
promote guideline quality and facilitate implementation.
- The COGS statement includes 18 items that are critical for understanding a guideline's development
process, its recommendation statements, and potential issues in its application. The checklist includes key elements
that should be present in guidelines to enhance validity and usability. Applying a formal consensus process,
the expert panel reviewed a set of proposed elements and rated the necessity of their inclusion
in guideline documents. Facilitated discussion addressed disagreements in
ratings, after which the elements were reevaluated. These ratings
serve as the basis for a guideline content template that can be used by developers to
improve their product.
- A secondary purpose of the Conference was to describe barriers to effective implementation that exist
in current guideline documents and to define approaches to overcome them.
For example, guideline authors strive to make recommendations that
accurately reflect scientific evidence, sometimes intentionally introducing
ambiguity into guideline recommendations to reflect real world
uncertainties. Implementers must resolve these ambiguities in order to
devise pragmatic strategies to influence clinicians' behavior. COGS
provided a forum for interaction among guideline developers, disseminators,
and implementers to reconcile conflicting goals.