Collaborative Guideline Development Process
Collaboration on clinical guideline development can improve the delivery and consistency of quality medical care. Collaborative guidelines are intended to minimize duplication of effort, increase guideline production and harmonize recommendations for the benefit of radiation oncology professionals and patients.
ASTRO’s general process is as follows with some flexibility depending on the lead society, but overall there are three main phases:
Planning - The planning phase involves the initial establishment of the arrangement between collaborating societies and selection of the ASTRO volunteer(s) that will serve on the work group.
Development - The guideline development includes the literature review, discussion and formation of the initial guideline draft. The draft is then sent through external review. The external review process can vary based on the lead society.
Final Guideline - The guideline is then finalized through Board approval. Once the guideline is approved it is published in the journal of the lead society. The guideline should then be updated every two years to recognize any industry changes that have occurred.
Internal approval of a collaborative guideline can take up to three months, so ASTRO staff will be in constant contact with the lead society for updates.
ASTRO has relationships with specific specialty societies that have resulted in numerous guideline collaborations.