This is the second in the series of “What I Learned This Week #WILTW“
It was an unnerving experience to be completely let down by my own gut feeling this week. A particular case caught me by suprise and it was only through following protocol that the right decsions were made. Essentially my gut feeling told me it was unlikely extra tests would be needed for a patient, but I did them because our guidelines said so, and lo-and-behold the guidelines were right! Although initially I was a little taken a back, on reflection I’ve decided that in fact gut feeling did win the day on this occassion. Not my gut feeling – but everybody else’s…
In hospital Clinical Practice Guidelines, or Standard Operating Protocols, are used to condense knowledge and experience to help healthcare professionals make decisions about patients. Ideally guidelines are based on the best evidence but often clear research is not available to determine what to do in any given situation. In these cases Guidelines are often based on the consensus of experts. This happens at a local level (consultants coming together to determine department policy) or a national level (the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence [NICE] bringing together expert Guideline Development Groups).
Guidelines often get a bad name as being part of the ‘tick box’ culture that often pervades health care. Perhaps it is worth thinking of them as a shared gut feeling. One that will sometimes get you out of a sticky hole.
What did you learn this week? #WILTW