Home CHEST Thought Leaders Four Questions With Dr. Richard Irwin on CHEST Living Guidelines

Four Questions With Dr. Richard Irwin on CHEST Living Guidelines

In the past year, CHEST has provided updates in response to timely, scientific- and evidence-based topics of importance to the chest medicine community. Topics have included cough, COPD, and endobronchial ultrasound. Living guidelines are systematically developed, evidence-based, and continually updated recommendations for the diagnosis and management of medical conditions. These guidelines are intended to inform both health-care providers and patients in making educated clinical decisions.

Dr. IrwinWe checked in with Dr. Richard Irwin, editor in chief of the journal CHEST to get his viewpoint on living guidelines.

What is a living guideline?

It is a term meant to reflect that guidelines will always be up to date because they will be revised as soon as important new information becomes available. In this sense, the term living guideline is synonymous with up-to-date guideline.

Why the shift to living guidelines versus publication of multichapter documents?

The living guideline concept does not preclude publishing multichapter documents if there are multiple chapters that have been updated at the same time. However, because really important new information usually only appears in isolated specific topics in a field, only one article may be in need of updating.

CHEST living guidelinesHow do you think living guidelines will impact patient care and help clinicians to deliver that care?

Because trustworthy guidelines are designed to specifically deal with patient care issues, up-to-date guidelines are designed to improve patient care by helping clinicians care for patients.

What topics can we expect updates on in the next year from CHEST?

At the present time, active guideline work is being performed by the cough expert panel that hopes to publish guidelines in 2016 on unexplained cough, cough due to environmental and occupational exposures, cough due to gastroesophageal reflux disease, cough due to lung cancer, cough in the athlete, and three different guidelines on cough in the pediatric populations. We will also tackle liberation from mechanical ventilation, screening for lung cancer, treatment of stage I and II non-small cell lung cancer, and the treatment of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer this year.

And finally, on January 7 we will publish an updated antithrombotic guideline for treatment of VTE disease. The guideline presents significant changes to recommendations in the care of patients with VTE.  

Antithrombotic Therapy for VTE Disease: CHEST Guideline will be available online first in the journal CHEST on January 7, 2016. Stay tuned for more information.