NACB Board Approves Four New Practice Guidelines and Archives Policy
2009 was a banner year for Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines (LMPGs). Four guidelines were published on the NACB web site and in Clinical Chemistry: Use of Tumor Markers in Clinical Practice: Quality Requirements and Use of Tumor Markers in Testicular, Prostate, Colorectal, Breast, and Ovarian Cancers, both edited by Catharine M. Sturgeon and Eleftherios P. Diamandis; Follow-Up Testing for Metabolic Diseases Identified by Expanded Newborn Screening Using Tandem Mass Spectrometry edited by Michael J. Bennett; and Emerging Biomarkers for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke edited by Gary L. Myers.
Congratulations to the guideline committee members who worked so hard to see the guidelines through the publication process. NACB guidelines are available for download free of charge on the AACC website.
Typically, NACB guidelines are available for download or purchase from the NACB web site for a period of 5 years. After publication, NACB applies to have the guideline posted on the National Guideline Clearinghouse’s (NGC) web site. If approved, a link is placed in the NGC site. The NGC provides NACB with usage statistics once each year. It’s very useful to be able to see how many people are accessing our guidelines and we receive quite a bit of traffic from the NGC site.
The 5-year availability on the NACB web site under published guidelines is based on the NGC standard. After that time, NACB can apply to have guidelines posted for longer on the NGC site if they meet certain criteria. When they are removed from the NGC site, they are moved from the published guidelines section of the NACB web site to the archived guidelines section. This information may still be considered useful, but certain aspects of the science involved may have changed since original publication.
At the November 2009, NACB board meeting, the board approved a new policy regarding presentation of archived guidelines on the web site. As a result, an out of print status indicator and a statement about accuracy at the time of publication will be added to .PDF files on the web site; guidelines will no longer be sold after January 1 of the following year (unless there is a compelling reason to continue the sales), but they may be available for download, translation, publication, or linking from another web site—on a case by case basis. In addition, if an inaccuracy appears in an archived guideline, the NACB will consult the primary author or editor to determine the best course of action, which may include adding a text box which contains updated information to a particular page of the document. Depending upon the inaccuracy, the NACB may choose to remove the guideline from the web site.
Over the next year, you may see some changes to the NACB web site as we may changes to guidelines affected by this policy.