NICE Pathways -the fast and easy way to access NICE guidance and products
Over the past decade, guidelines have increasingly become a familiar part of the clinical landscape. Every day, decisions on treatments and medications at GP surgeries across the country and commissioning decisions at NHS trusts are influenced by guidelines, many of which are from NICE.
Reading through all the recommendations from NICE and identifying the accompanying quality standards or support tools can be a real challenge.
And as the quantity and range of these products increases, busy healthcare professionals require new ways of identifying, accessing and using this guidance.
Help is now at hand in the form of NICE Pathways, an online tool for GPs and practice nurses.
Bringing it all together
NICE Pathways brings together - for the first time - all related NICE guidance and associated products in a set of interactive topic-based flowcharts.
It is a visual and interactive format that provides a way to quickly view and navigate guidance, including quality standards, and other tools from NICE on a given topic.
Previously, there has been no easy way to see at a glance everything NICE has said on a specific condition across all its separate published guidance.
NICE Pathways covers the entire range of NICE guidance, including health technology appraisals, clinical guidelines, public health and social care advice, quality standards and implementation tools.
Pathways can be viewed on smart phones and on IPads allowing easy access while on the move. Users are also able to print out the Pathways and save them for future reference.
“NICE Pathways is for anyone who needs to use NICE guidance. Starting with a broad overview allows the user to explore in increasing detail NICE recommendations and advice,” explains Dr Gillian Leng, NICE Deputy Chief Executive.
“For example, you may be interested in finding out what NICE has said on stroke. There might be technology appraisal guidance, clinical guidelines and perhaps a quality standard as well. NICE Pathways will connect all of this advice together in one place.
“NICE Pathways will provide a useful starting point for users new to a topic, while giving specialists confidence that they are up to date with everything NICE has recommended.”
This new resource will also greatly facilitate access to NICE guidance for commissioners, who need to commission care across a whole pathway.
Users do not need to understand how NICE classifies different types of guidance to view everything NICE has said on a particular topic.
NICE Pathways will synthesise all of this guidance together in one place.
From alcohol disorders to venous thromboembolisms
A total of 75 pathways have been produced so far that can be browsed by A to Z or by the following clinical areas:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Endocrine disease
- Eye disease
- Kidney disease
- Mental disorders
- Infections and infectious diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Nervous system diseases
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Respiratory diseases
Latest Pathways of interest to primary care health professionals include preventing type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis fragility fracture and the use of antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection.
There are also public health topics covering behavioural issues such as diet, physical activity and smoking, as well as maternal health, mental health and preventative medicine.
Individual pathways also link to other related pathways - for example the diet pathway links with the physical activity pathway.
NICE Pathways will continue to develop by including more content and more topics as new NICE guidance is published and by adding new features such as linking to the evidence behind NICE recommendations.
What clinicians are saying about NICE Pathways
"NICE Pathways fits the bill when it comes to supporting clinical practice and commissioning."
"Logical, easy to use and the best way to access everything NICE recommends on a given topic."
"Pathways will be a great help to demonstrate the relevance of guidance in decision making."
"The sheer volume of guidance can generate ‘a white noise' and accessing relevant sections of guidance can be time consuming. NICE Pathways seems to offer the prospect of cutting through all this."
"NICE pathways are a really easy way to ensure that you are accessing the up to date recommendations from NICE and not missing anything."
26 September 2012