gms | German Medical Science

Prävention zwischen Evidenz und Eminenz
15. Jahrestagung des Deutschen Netzwerks Evidenzbasierte Medizin

Deutsches Netzwerk Evidenzbasierte Medizin e. V.

13.03. - 15.03.2014, Halle (Saale)

Online Guideline Development

Meeting Abstract

Prävention zwischen Evidenz und Eminenz. 15. Jahrestagung des Deutschen Netzwerks Evidenzbasierte Medizin. Halle, 13.-15.03.2014. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2014. Doc14ebmP13c

doi: 10.3205/14ebm135, urn:nbn:de:0183-14ebm1356

Published: March 10, 2014

© 2014 Klemm et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



‚Clinical Practice Guidelines’ play an important role in daily work to support the decision of medical treatment. The quality and medical value of guidelines depend on a systematic and transparent development methodology. The 4 different guideline classifications in Germany have their own requirements concerning evidence, consensus, documentation and expert opinions. As the process of guideline development is very complex, the portal offers tools, which support the individual requirements of the guideline development. The focus is on the improvement of medical research in quality by developing, expanding and providing IT infrastructures which lead to an efficient use of limited personnel, time and financial resources.

The UserGroup e. V. has been offering its tools and services since 2009. In 2012 an independent evaluation of the portal focused on the 3 aspects quality, methodology and costs. Quality, also called usability, implies user satisfaction as well as simplicity and intuitive use. The aspect methodology examines whether the process of guideline development follows special regulations. The last aspect includes a cost-benefit analysis and the establishment of potential user. The results of the evaluation lead to an improvement of the tools and increased the scientific reputation of the portal.

Analytical methods such as heuristic evaluation and cognitive walkthrough were used. An independent usability expert analyzed the usability of the portal, based on a set of criteria and specific requirements of the target groups. A qualitative survey and the evaluation of questionnaires resulted in further improvement. Potential problems were listed and solutions for emerging problems have been developed for an enhanced usability, a better integration of modules in the workflow of guideline development and a better process orientation through standardized tools, such as:

  • A discussion forum for debatable matters, where all discussions are filed, and an illustration of the consensus progress.
  • Online surveys which increase efficiency and transparency of the guideline development.
  • A navigation bar to reflect the workflow of a guideline development.

All in all there is an improved support of study group organization and administration of documents including evaluation of literature, discussion of recommendations, online surveys and the standardized methodical report. The optimization brought an added value for user and medical societies.