How are the SOP’s different from practice guidelines

Every Medical Facility Tries To Provide Best Possible Services To Its Customers. Standard Operating Procedures (Sop) Of Various Departments Together Constitute A Hospital Manual Which Significantly Determines The Performance Of A Hospital In Practical Terms. Thus, Every Hospital Must Prepare Sop In A Way That It Ensures Consistency In Working Of Varied Departments On The One Hand And Enables To Obtain Best Results In A Cost-Effective Manner On The Other.But then what is roll of practice guidelines, what is the difference?


Different medical bodies describe the terms SOPs, guidelines and pathways. However, while guidelines for clinical practice are routinely formulated recommendations that endorse decisions on appropriate health care under specific circumstances, SOPs are more comprehensive than guidelines and are specified in more detail. These provide a comprehensive set of standardized guidelines detailing the steps of management for a particular clinical condition or organizational aspects.
Guidelines were rigorously formulated using evidence-based medicine principles and consist of two distinct components: a description of the evidence and detailed instructions for applying the evidence to patient care. Guidelines require local adjustment to match local conditions and to create a sense of ownership for the general health care provider, both of which are important factors in guideline acceptance and use. Therefore, SOPs help bridge the gap between evidence-based medicine, clinical practice standards, and the regional conditions at the point of care. It is quite clear that SOPs provide a higher standard of medical care in serious situations.


Guideline means:

  • A piece of advice on how to act in a given situation
    Recommended but Non Mandatory Control
    Example: Employment Discrimination Guidelines, Screening Guideline
  • ‘Guide’ + ’Lines’ meaning Instructions for guiding purposes only

Procedure means:

  • A series of detailed steps to accomplish an end
    Step by step instructions for implementation
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s),
    derived from ‘Process’; it’s an established way of doing something
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