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Table 1 Definition of guidelines, practice protocols and ICPs.

From: ARIA 2016: Care pathways implementing emerging technologies for predictive medicine in rhinitis and asthma across the life cycle

  Guideline Clinical practice guidelines Care pathway
Focus Specific clinical circumstances Treatment and/or prevention The quality and co-ordination of care
Definition Systematically developed statements to help practitioners and patients make decisions about appropriate health care A suggested course of treatment and/or treatment service for a specific diagnosis, functional deficit or problem area Structured, multi-disciplinary plans of care
Goals Makes specific recommendations on health care and links these to research evidence Highlights major therapeutic or preventive interventions
Identifies choices of different courses or paths of treatment
Supports the implementation of clinical guidelines and protocols
Outputs Provides a summary and appraisal of the best available research evidence or expert consensus
Highlights the strength of the evidence underlying each recommendation
Describes barriers and facilitators for each recommendation
Provides a logical flow of interventions. Provides detailed recommendations that build on those made in SPCs guidelines Provides detailed guidance for each stage in the management of a patient and key performance indicators
Users Clinicians, patients and third parties (all stakeholders involved) Specific to clinicians A multidisciplinary clinical team
Components (1) Appraisal of literature (research evidence or expert consensus)
(2) Summary of recommendations
(3) An outline of how guidelines should be implemented and how adherence monitored
List of major therapeutic or preventive interventions
Goals: When interventions should be achieved
Options for different choices of treatment and/or prevention
(1) Timeline
(2) Categories of care/intervention
(3) Intermediate and long term outcome criteria
(4) A variance record