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Evidence-based medicine is a linchpin of contemporary clinical practice. It requires “the integration of the best research evidence with clinical expertise and the patient’s unique values and circumstances.”1(p1) The task can be daunting for busy clinicians, leading to the development of a plethora of clinical guidelines intended to provide recommendations aimed at optimizing patient care by summarizing and evaluating the available evidence supporting or refuting the use of diagnostic studies or therapeutic approaches. As of January 2016, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality listed 3348 guidelines related to diseases or conditions, 8163 addressing treatments or interventions, and 1203 focused on health services administration.2 As with the underlying research itself, however, clinical practice guidelines can vary in quality, which led to efforts to set standards to ensure their value.3(pp75-107)
Goldstein LB. Screening for Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis: Evidence-Based Opinion. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(5):633–634. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.0857
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