“Guidelines are followed, but I think inconsistently,” said David Tunkel, MD, chair of pediatric otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins and the current chair of the AAO-HNS Guidelines Task Force.
A new study on compliance with AAO-HNS sudden sensorineural hearing loss guidelines, conducted through the CHEER (Creating Healthcare Excellence through Education and Research) Network, found that otolaryngologists follow many of the guideline recommendations at least 90% of the time. Among non-otolaryngologists, compliance was below 45% for three of the items. The researchers concluded that, while there is high compliance on some items, “there is significant room for improvement.”
Experts involved in creating guidelines, who stress that they are only broad evidence-based recommendations that cannot take into account every situation and nuance that physicians and patients may face, point to a wide variety of reasons why guidelines are sometimes not followed: