The Development of Living, Rapid Practice Points: Summary of Methods From the Scientific Medical Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians Academic Article uri icon

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  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scientific Medical Policy Committee (SMPC) of the American College of Physicians (ACP) began developing "practice points" to provide clinical advice based on the best available evidence for the public, patients, clinicians, and public health professionals. As one of the first organizations in the United States to develop evidence-based clinical guidelines, ACP continues to lead and advance the science of evidence-based medicine by implementing new methods to rapidly publish practice points and maintain them as living advice that regularly assesses and incorporates new evidence. The overarching aim of practice points is to answer targeted key questions for which there is a timely need to synthesize evidence for decision making. The SMPC believes these methods can potentially be adapted to address various clinical and public health topics beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. This article presents an overview of the SMPC's living, rapid practice points development process, which includes a rapid systematic review, use of the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) method, use of stringent policies on the disclosure of interests and management of conflicts of interest, incorporating a public (nonclinician) perspective, and maintenance of the documents as living through ongoing surveillance and synthesis of new evidence as it emerges.


  • Qaseem, Amir
  • Yost, Jennifer
  • Forciea, Mary Ann
  • Jokela, Janet A
  • Miller, Matthew C
  • Obley, Adam
  • Humphrey, Linda L

publication date

  • August 2021