Role of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - Health and Medicine Division (NASEM) previously identified as the Institute of Medicine (IOM)

NASEM/IOM's Role in Evidence-based Healthcare

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.

The NASEM/IOM's aim is to help those in government and the private sector make informed health decisions by providing evidence upon which they can rely. Each year, more than 3,000 individuals volunteer their time, knowledge, and expertise to advance the nation's health through the work of the NASEM/IOM.

The NASEM/IOM asks and answers the nation's most pressing questions about health and health care.

When the U.S. Congress initiated the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, they directed the NASEM/IOM to develop rigorous new standards for the development of evidence-based guidelines.   The NASEM/IOM, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), issued two reports in March 2011: Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust and Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews.

In Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust, the NASEM/IOM redefined CPGs as follows:

"Clinical practice guidelines are statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of the evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options."

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the NASEM/IOM, evidence-based guidelines must be:

·    Based on a systematic review of the existing evidence;
·    Developed by a knowledgeable, multidisciplinary panel of experts and representatives from key affected groups;
·    Based on an explicit and transparent development process to minimize bias and conflicts of interest;
·    Graded for both the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations;
·    Contain articulated and precise clinical recommendations, produced in a standardized form;
·    Reviewed, completing an external and peer review process; and
·    Reviewed every 2-5 years and revised when new evidence warrants.