Deakin University

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Clinical practice guidelines: barriers to durability after effective early implementation

journal contribution
posted on 2005-03-01, 00:00 authored by C Brand, F Landgren, Ana HutchinsonAna Hutchinson, C Jones, L MacGregor, D Campbell
Background: Clinical practice guidelines in general (General-CPG) may reduce variation in clinician performance and improve patient outcomes. Short-term evaluation is now routine, but demonstration of early successful implementation does not necessarily ensure longer-term effectiveness. Aim: To assess adherence to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-CPG recommendations at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), 2 years after successful implementation. To identify barriers to sustained success of General-CPG. Methods: A multi-faceted evaluation was performed to document: (i) current adherence to COPD management recommendations (medical record audit); (ii) awareness of attitudes towards and barriers for the use of COPD-CPG and General-CPG (staff survey, focus groups and key informant interviews) and (iii) access to and quality of available General-CPG (internet review and random sample General-CPG evaluation. Results: Adherence to COPD-CPG recommendations was highly variable. Adherence was higher in the Emergency Department than the general wards and for specific therapeutic recommendations. It was lower for non-pharmacological therapy and for recommendations relating to processes of care. Most health professionals were in favour of General-CPG. Barriers to use of General-CPG were in keeping with previous literature reports. Organizational issues including high levels of staff turnover and lack of integration of General-CPG into hospital quality frameworks were highlighted as major barriers. Hospital intranet access and presentation of General-CPG identified lack of consistency in terminology and presentation. Conclusion: Short-term effectiveness of COPD-CPG implementation did not ensure sustained success. Departmental organizational behaviours and organizational system barriers are major factors influencing durability.



Internal medicine journal






162 - 169


John Wiley & Sons


Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2005, John Wiley and Sons