The chiropractic profession has recently begun to proactively address the problems identified by the health care industry. Prompted by rising health care costs, careful analysis revealed that the major culprit was the variance in the delivery of health care. Concerned with outside regulation, health professionals, both in the USA and Canada, are generating clinical guidelines that will serve as templates for the development of standards of care. More specifically, the chiropractic profession is identifying and establishing standards of practice. This in part is due to published data illustrating the variations in treatment frequencies between geographic locations. Acknowledging these variations will enable the identification of solutions. The solutions will be formulated from a growing knowledge base comprised of printed literature and the opinions of recognized experts through consensus panels. The result is the creation of practice standards and guidelines that will serve to answer concerns of accountability and ultimately to protect the public. The process from the creation to the implementation of the guidelines is necessarily detailed; but can be enhanced by the use of clinical algorithms. Clinical algorithms describe a step wise procedure to patient management that may impact upon patient care, health care costs and outcome measures. As chiropractic achieves greater visibility, it will be expected to perform at the same level of accountability as the other health provider groups. Each chiropractor should understand the process and its limitations, and be prepared to contribute in the development, distribution and implementation of reasonable practice guidelines.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for free full text.