Investigators led by Gregory P. Auffenberg, MD, of the Department of Urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, conducted a retrospective analysis of electronic medical patient records that included nearly 3,500 men who were treated for BPH/LUTS from 2008 to 2012.
They wanted to establish a benchmark for adherence in order to measure outcomes in future research.
Dr. Auffenberg and his colleagues found that provider adherence rates with nine of the guidelines had varied from 53-92.8%, while five guidelines not routinely recommended were 10.2% or less.
“Our investigation includes one of the most robust analyses of physician adherence to AUA guidelines on the management of BPH/LUTS in the published literature,” he stated. “It may allow comparative multi-institutional research by our study group or other groups to determine baseline adherence rates in different practice settings.”
The study will also help to determine the effect guidelines have on cost of care and patient outcomes.
Evidence-based guidelines play an increasing role in setting standards for medical practice and quality but are seldom systematically evaluated in the practice setting. Investigators evaluated the rate of physician adherence to the American Urological Association’s (AUA) guidelines on the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia/lower urinary tract symptoms (BPH/LUTS) to establish a benchmark for future research. Their findings are published in The Journal of Urology.
Medical certification bodies, for example, the American Board of Urology, increasingly use guideline-driven content in their examination processes. Despite this increasing emphasis on guidelines, there have been few studies that systematically evaluate physician adherence or patient outcomes.