Indian Council of Medical Research: ICMR announces new standard treatment norms for 54 common diseases for use by doctors

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released a set of new standard treatment guidelines for 54 common conditions across 11 specialties for use by doctors at all levels of public health care. Volume III of “Standard Treatment Workflows” aims to address issues associated with irrational medication use, overdiagnosis and underdiagnosis, and poor referral practices, among others.

Dr. Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, on Tuesday published the book ICMR Standard Treatment Workflows – Volume III regarding 54 conditions in 11 specialties along with a mobile application, an ICMR statement said on Wednesday.

On this occasion, Professor (Dr) Balram Bhargava, Secretary of DHR and Director General of ICMR, said: “The burden of delivering health care to the peripheries rests mainly on primary care physicians who have made a phenomenal work. Standard treatment workflows will help keep these physicians up to date and provide general guidance on how to manage common ailments”

Paul said the use of standard treatment workflows (STWs) needs to be examined in an operational research mode and at different levels of the public health system.

A robust dissemination strategy, including international dissemination, involving various stakeholders should be planned, he added.

ICMR published Volume I with 53 conditions in 2019 and Volume II with 18 conditions exclusively focusing on TB in March this year.

With increasing new scientific evidence and rising healthcare costs, healthcare providers regularly need simple standard treatment guidelines, workflows and reference manuals. The latest STWs will help implement it effectively at all levels with a focus on quality healthcare, the statement said.

Dr Lokesh Sharma, Principal Investigator at ICMR, said: “The development of STW is a mission-mode project of the Indian Council of Medical Research for common and serious diseases faced by treating physicians at all levels of health care systems. to guide them in the management and encourage the rational use of medicines, diagnostics and other health services.”

“These resource-stratified treatment workflows are expected to be useful to physicians working at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and aid in optimal resource utilization,” he said.

Sharma said this will help in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as India’s health system prepares by launching several programs such as National Health Protection Program, Ayushman Bharat, Nutritional Supplementation Program, the Inderdhanush program, etc.

Specialties such as Dermatology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Sickle Cell Disease, Neonatology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Female Infertility, Pediatric Surgery had been covered in the STW Volume III, he said.

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