COGS: The Conference On Guideline Standardization


Topic Description
1. Overview material Provide a structured abstract that includes the guideline's release date, status (original, revised, updated), and print and electronic sources.
2. Focus Describe the primary disease/condition and intervention/ service/ technology that the guideline addresses. Indicate any alternative preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic interventions that were considered during development.
3. Goal Describe the goal that following the guideline is expected to achieve, including the rationale for development of a guideline on this topic.
4. Users/Setting Describe the intended users of the guideline (e.g., provider types, patients) and the settings in which the guideline is intended to be used.
5. Target population Describe the patient population eligible for guideline recommendations and list any exclusion criteria.
6. Developer Identify the organization(s) responsible for guideline development and the names/credentials/potential conflicts of interest of individuals involved in the guideline's development.
7. Funding source/sponsor Identify the funding source/sponsor and describe its role in developing, and/or reporting the guideline. Disclose potential conflict of interest.
8. Evidence collection Describe the methods used to search the scientific literature, including the range of dates and databases searched, and criteria applied to filter the retrieved evidence.
9. Recommendation grading criteria Describe the criteria used to rate the quality of evidence that supports the recommendations and the system for describing the strength of the recommendations. Recommendation strength communicates the importance of adherence to a recommendation and is based on both the quality of the evidence and the magnitude of anticipated benefits or harms.
10. Method for synthesizing evidence Describe how evidence was used to create recommendations, e.g., evidence tables, meta-analysis, decision analysis.
11. Pre-release review Describe how the guideline developer reviewed and/or tested the guidelines prior to release.
12. Update plan State whether or not there is a plan to update the guideline and, if applicable, an expiration date for this version of the guideline.
13. Definitions Define unfamiliar terms and those critical to correct application of the guideline that might be subject to misinterpretation.
14. Recommendations and rationale State the recommended action precisely and the specific circumstances under which to perform it. Justify each recommendation by describing the linkage between the recommendation and its supporting evidence. Indicate the quality of evidence and the recommendation strength, based on the criteria described in 9.
15. Potential benefits and harms Describe anticipated benefits and potential risks associated with implementation of guideline recommendations.
16. Patient preferences Describe the role of patient preferences when a recommendation involves a substantial element of personal choice or values.
17. Algorithm Provide (when appropriate) a graphical description of the stages and decisions in clinical care described by the guideline.
18. Implementation considerations Describe anticipated barriers to application of the recommendations. Provide reference to any auxiliary documents for providers or patients that are intended to facilitate implementation. Suggest review criteria for measuring changes in care when the guideline is implemented.

The Conference on Guideline Standardization was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) through grant R13 HS10962.
It was convened by the Yale Center for Medical Informatics.
For problems or questions regarding this website contact George Michel
Last updated: August 28, 2003.