The Legal Implications of Practice Guidelines. Cal Chaney, JD April 12, 2002. Presentation Focus:. Definitions Practice Guidelines in Legislation Practice Guidelines in Litigation Potential Liability to Drafters of Practice Guidelines Recommendations for Drafting Practice Guidelines.
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1990, the Institute of Medicine defined practice guidelines as “systemically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.”
The current trend in the U.S. is to hold physicians to a national standard of care; however, standards of care can be established by state law and may vary from locale to locale.
Practice guidelines are not likely to be the only factor in determining a physician’s liability. Other factors will be considered including:
Practice guidelines may be used to impose liability on hospitals and other health care institutions for failure to require or enforce the accepted standards on its physicians.