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092 From Manuscript to Mouse-Click: Moving From Print to Electronic Guidelines
  1. L Claase,
  2. S Phillips,
  3. S Hughes,
  4. C Norquay
  1. Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, Melbourne, Australia


Background The rapid uptake of electronic devices and information sources has enormous implications for guideline developers and implementers. In 2000, our organisation anticipated this trend and developed an electronic production system.

Objectives To develop the capacity to publish and update electronic versions of a comprehensive set of clinical guidelines.

Methods An audit of technology and resourcing requirements was undertaken, new software was commissioned, and staff with IT and electronic publishing skills were recruited. Stringent quality control and editorial processes were developed to ensure the fidelity of electronic versions. A comprehensive communications and marketing plan was implemented.

Results All guidelines, covering 14 books titles and around 3000 topics, were integrated into an electronic, searchable website with links to other quality electronic resources, tools and reference materials.- Electronic subscriptions and site licenses have grown by 200% between 2004 and2012, and currently make up 75% of users; 25% continue to use books.

Discussion The switch from paper to computer and mobile devices presents both financial and logistical challenges and requires long-term commitment. Furthermore, as the diversity of electronic integration systems multiplies, there are challenges in keeping up with technological advances. It is clear from the uptake of our electronic guidelines that health professionals and other users want access to comprehensive, up-to-date and easy-to-use electronic guidelines.

Implications for Guideline Developers/Users For guidelines to be useful in practice in 2013 and beyond, they must be available electronically and be able to interact with other electronic resources used in health settings.

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