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Clinical Practice Guidelines

The guide has the resources and methodology for developing and updating clinical practice guideline.

What is the Clinical Practice Algorithm Literature Search Service?

To align with the Department of Clinical Effectiveness’ (CE) goals to deliver safe, efficient, effective and patient-centered care, a professional librarian from Research Medical Library will provide evidence-based information searching and knowledge translation services to support developing, maintaining and evaluating patient care management tools (such as practice algorithms and ordering tools) and other policy documents.

  1. A clinical librarian/expert searcher can carry out searches on a requestor’s behalf to identify journal articles, guidelines, systematic reviews and other evidence-based up-to-date information on a topic of interest for literature review.  The topic of interest would address the full spectrum of cancer care, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, survivorship and end-of-life care.
  2. The literature search should be requested by filling out the Clinical Effectiveness Literature Search Request Form, and the requestor should provide adequate information for the librarian to initiate literature searching. A clinical librarian/expert searcher will provide help on how to place a literature request whenever necessary.
  3. When no specific clinical question is defined, a clinical Librarian /expert searcher will perform a general topic search.
  4. When a specific clinical question is defined, a clinical librarian/expert searcher will apply clearly defined inclusion and exclusion criteria (with the agreement with Clinical Effectiveness coordinators and a multidisciplinary work group) to identify high-level scientific evidence for entering the critical appraisal and evidence synthesis phases by clinical experts and the clinical effectiveness coordinators.
  5. Literature selected for developing and updating evidence-based practice algorithms and ordering tools will be organized by the hierarchy of evidence for delivery.
  6. The results of a search will be compiled as lists of bibliographic references with abstracts and/or links to full-text options and websites (as appropriate to the topic), and the content of the search results will be delivered using MD Anderson SharePoint site.
  7. A clinical librarian/expert searcher will provide consultations and suggestions regarding evidence-based practice, including evidence-based information resources and help with understanding the level of evidence, quality of evidence and principles and tools for critical appraisal and knowledge synthesis when needed.
  8. Beyond the initial request for clinical evidence by CE staff, a clinical librarian/expert searcher can participate in practice algorithm development by providing scientific evidence to support key decision points identified by clinical experts.

Who is this service available to?

This literature searches/knowledge translation services are free and available to MD Anderson Cancer employees who are currently working at Department of Clinical Effectiveness or Department of Survivorship, and all clinicians who are involved in developing and updating practice algorithms, ordering tools or clinical protocols and policies.

How do I request a Literature Search?

To request a literature search, please complete the Clinical Effectiveness Literature Search Request Form. Please submit as much information as possible about your search topic so there is no delay in processing your request.  If you encounter any difficulties in completing this form, please do not hesitate to contact the librarian

How soon will I receive the results of my search?

Once a literature search request is submitted, a clinical librarian/expert searcher will be able to start the process within two weeks. The searching and analysis process may take up to another two weeks. It’s likely that the librarian will contact you directly to work out a mutually agreed upon date and clarify some aspects of your clinical or research question. For urgent requests, the librarian will prioritize the search and schedule a maximum of four hours to work on the request.


Requests directly for patient safety will be actioned as a matter of service priority.

Please note that all of the above service standards are subject to staffing levels. 

How can I obtain full-text copies of references?

The links for the full-text option will be provided in the results of a search. For articles that are not available from the library, you can request the full-text article or books by using library’s Interlibrary Loan service. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further assistance.

Comments or Feedback

The Research Medical Library is continually trying to improve and develop our services. We will contact CE specialists a month after the results of the search have been delivered for feedback to ask if the information we provided has been of use to the work group and to inquire whether and how the work group have used it to establish or modify Patient Care Management Tools (PCMTs) for clinical practice optimization.

If you have any comments about this particular service in the meantime, please let us know.