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Inside the guideline development process

Leaders in clinical guidance development demystify how AGA Guidelines and Clinical Practice Updates are developed and how they should be used in practice.
Small Talks, Big GI Topics
Small Talks, Big GI Topics

In this episode of the AGA podcast, Small Talk, Big Topics, our hosts are joined by Drs. Shahnaz Sultan and Joseph Lim to talk about guidelines, how to use them, best practices and how to apply them. After our two distinguished guests introduce themselves, they dive right into the guidelines and their development.

Dr. Shahnaz Sultan, chair of the AGA Clinical Guidelines Committee, talks about the process of how topics are decided to go to a guideline and Dr. Joseph Lim, chair of the AGA Clinical Practice Updates Committee, dives into what goes into creating a Clinical Practice Update (CPU). They explain that it’s a very open process that includes feedback and input from others around the country. Also they describe the AGA Governing Board’s role in this, and how there are times when CPUs become a guideline. Our guests also speak to the timelines of CPU and guideline development — the longest to date, the fastest created, and what goes into those recommendations.

It’s a broad conversation, our guest says about the application of the guideline and CPU, including use by physicians in many other areas and practice. Although they are written with a scope of GI, we know the guidelines and CPUs will be used across disciplines.

Our hosts and guests talk about the ambiguity that existed before a guideline or CPU is created and how the framework of each helps practitioners give the highest quality of care to patients, as well as confidence in taking recommendations and guidelines backed by evidence. Our hosts and guests transition to upcoming guidelines that are on the horizon. As studies are completing, some cutting-edge guidelines are coming that will address topics from weight loss balloons to Crohn’s disease, along with some others that you will be excited about.

As to the conversation wraps up, they talk career advice — what skills are needed if you want to get involved with guideline or CPU creation, and the best advice for trainees: You never know where your career will go, according to our guests. Don’t treat your five-year plan as a barrier to trying new things and testing out roles or areas you like.

See AGA’s current clinical guidelines and CPUs.
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Email at [email protected].

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