The CAMRT development of these Best Practice Guidelines was modelled from the start on the accepted understanding of clinical practice guidelines. In 1990, the Institute of Medicine described guidelines in a way that is still held as the standard definition even today:
"Clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances".
Within this definition, CAMRT found three important themes that it has used to guide the development and review of all the best practice guideline documentation, the themes of: Recommendations, Rigorous and Resource
The guidelines are a set of recommendations that describe, rather than prescribe, a high standard of MRT professional behaviour. The description is presented first through a broad recommendation, followed by key rationale and discussion on how an MRT might reach the goals set out.
Recommendations do not constitute a mandatory standard of practice, and attempt to use a language and tone that clearly differentiates from regulation throughout.
To be effective, guidelines must be developed through a rigorous process. Throughout development, the development committee strove to gather and consider the best available evidence for the topics under consideration. The rigour was extended by ensuring a full cross-section of representation on all committees and review panels, and by a multi-layered process for development and review that incorporated the collective expertise of many outside reviewers.
This resource provides trustworthy information based on evidence that has been specifically researched and written with MRTs in mind. The guidelines were developed to help augment MRT judgment and decision making in their day-to-day practice.
The development of the guidelines was also driven by the goal of creating a resource that would be appreciated and used by MRTs of all levels of experience and expertise from every location across Canada. This process started with the selection of topics that would be relevant to the MRT profession. It informed all the decisions made about the documents: the number of topics, the level of detail, the format, the links to include, etc. It culminated in the development of this interactive website.
As development continues, the CAMRT hopes to enhance this website as a resource for Canadian MRTs by creating mechanisms for gathering and responding to feedback.