As a leader in education and innovation, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) recognizes the need for resources for clinicians on topics in which there is an absence of clinical evidence but there may be expert consensus to support the development of a clinical practice parameter. These “practice parameters” is a critical tool to confront a rapidly changing health care environment. The CNS supports an infrastructure, including robust, methodological processes to produce high-quality practice parameters that are based on a combination of the best available information and expert opinion in the absence of higher quality evidence used to develop Guidelines. The availability of standard forms of published evidence to form the basis (and expert opinion when needed) of these practice parameters is achieved in partnership with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and CNS Joint Subspecialty Sections, which will provide the scientific content experts fundamental to the production and assessment of quality practice parameters. Each CNS practice parameter consists of a focused topic, PICO question(s), practice parameters, and discussion of the available evidence supporting those parameters and future research needs. Literature searches will be informed by task force members and CNS staff, using a medical librarian.
Practice Parameters are the synthesis of the best available information, supplemented by expert opinion on focused clinical topics. These come into application where there is not enough high quality published evidence to develop an evidence-based guideline as defined by CNS methodology.