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The American College of Rheumatology places a high priority on developing methodologically rigorous, evidence-based, clinical practice guidelines that take into consideration the expertise and viewpoints of multiple stakeholders in a transparent fashion. Individuals and organizations interested in quality care for patients with rheumatic disease are encouraged to review the information provided on this page and provide input into ACR guideline activities as outlined here.
Clinical practice guidelines are developed to reduce inappropriate care, minimize geographic variations in practice patterns, and enable effective use of health care resources. Guidelines and recommendations developed and/or endorsed by the ACR are intended to provide guidance for particular patterns of practice and not to dictate the care of a particular patient. The ACR considers adherence to these guidelines and recommendations to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in light of each patient's individual circumstances. Guidelines and recommendations are intended to promote beneficial or desirable outcomes but cannot guarantee any specific outcome. Guidelines and recommendations developed or endorsed by the ACR are subject to periodic revision as warranted by the evolution of medical knowledge, technology and practice.
To promote transparency and assist ACR guideline development groups in their work, the ACR has outlined its policies and procedures for guideline development and maintenance in the ACR Guideline Manual.
See information about an ACR pilot project to more meaningfully engage patients in guideline development. The evidence report is also available.