The government shut down, but ECRI will continue the work

The door has closed on, which provided physicians and others with information on best medical practices, but ECRI Institute said it will maintain a version of the resource.

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The healthcare industry has had to face some sad news this week: After July 16, the National Guideline Clearinghouse website,, went dark.

The online database, which was created in 1998, provided physicians and other healthcare workers with information on medical practices and the best way to treat patients.

The resource was developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as well as the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans (now known as America’s Health Insurance Plans), according to CNN. AHRQ is a sub-agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Why was shuttered? Funding cuts.

Unsurprisingly, the medical community was far from thrilled by the news, as evidenced by Twitter:

Although the door has closed on, one organization is hoping to save the day.

Nonprofit organization ECRI Institute said Tuesday that it plans to maintain a version of the resource. The site, which is set to launch this fall, will let users look for ECRI’s summarization of medical guidelines and will include unbiased evaluations on the transparency of the guidelines against the National Academy of Medicine.

In the future, the site will include advanced search capabilities, an improved user interface and support for decision-making.

Users will have to pay to use the service, ECRI spokeswoman Laurie Menyo told Politico. Guideline developers will be able to access and contribute to the database for free.

ECRI has helped the government develop and maintain NGC since its creation two decades ago.

Photo: imaginima, Getty Images