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Practice parameters, as developed by the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters, are documents that establish boundaries for appropriate patient care. They acknowledge the range or variations that currently take place in the allergy community regarding management of allergic conditions and use of procedures to diagnose and treat these conditions. They attempt to promote consistency in practice while allowing for variable approaches based on individual patient differences using evidence from the medical literature to achieve good clinical practice. The purpose of practice parameters is to aid clinicians in providing appropriate diagnosis and treatment of allergic conditions that is consistent with the best available scientific evidence and clinical consensus. Although practice parameters describe generally accepted practices, they are not intended to define a standard of care. The ultimate judgment regarding care of patients and their families should be made by clinicians in light of the clinical information presented by the patient and family, the diagnostic and therapeutic options available, and available resources.” (http://www.aacap.org/clinical/parameters/).
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been defined as "the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.”
While practice parameters are predominantly boundaries for diagnosis and treatment by the clinician, sometimes other information e.g. pathophysiology, genetics, histology, evolving research may be included when such inclusion adds to the understanding and value of the practice parameter. However, the goal is not to write a detailed discussion on such features as one might find in a review article or textbook. Ongoing research that does not currently or in the near future offer treatment options for the clinician is minimized.
Practice parameters developed by the Joint Task Force are not intended to be used as standards of care.
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