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VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines

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VA Evidence-Based Practice works with the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop evidence-based practice guidelines to be used within the VA and DoD. VA/DoD guideline development work is done under the auspices of the VA/DoD Evidence-Based Practice Working Group (EBPWG), a working group chartered by the VA/DoD Health Executive Committee since 1998.

The charter is periodically updated and delineates the EBPWG’s scope of responsibilities:

  • Identify and assess further opportunities for improving the adoption of evidence-based clinical practices through the coordination and sharing of health related services and resources between the Departments.
  • Facilitate on-going implementation of evidence-based clinical advances into practice.
  • Champion the integration of evidence-based clinical practice into current developing information systems.
  • Foster integration of evidence-based practice into VA/DoD initiatives related to health promotion, disease prevention, and wellness initiatives.
  • Adopt or adapt, develop, and maintain evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
  • Assess the effectiveness of implementation and make recommendations to maximize performance improvement.
  • Identify opportunities and make recommendations for research related to evidence-based practice within VA/DoD.

A hallmark of VA/DoD guidelines is their relative freedom from conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest faced by the VA/DoD EBPWG and the working groups that it charters to develop specific guidelines are handled based on the VHA Handbook 1004.07 - Financial Relationships between VHA Health Care Professionals and Industry, which was signed November 24, 2014. All EBPWG meetings utilize the process of real-time verbal disclosure as required by VHA Handbook 1004.07 - Information for Members of VHA Decision Making and Advisory Groups.