High quality, clear and evidence-based guidelines are key for supporting the day to day diagnosis and management of COPD. But is too much emphasis given to writing guidelines as opposed to implementing them?
There are recognised barriers to uptake of guidelines in clinics, including lack of familiarity with guidelines amongst clinicians and inadequate implementation programmes1. While producing a COPD guideline is a key step in supporting health professionals (HCPs) provide the best care for their patients, delivering a robust implementation strategy is often missed.
Here there is an opportunity. The 2019 NICE Guideline provides clear, succinct recommendations for UK HCPs, from diagnosis of COPD, to treatment and long-term patient management2. With these recommendations already available, the focus should now be on implementation across clinics rather than creating additional guidelines.
Implementation is not simply circulation. It is important that insights are gained to better understand why clinics may not be adhering to the clinical practice guideline and devise a strategy to break down these barriers.