BC Guidelines


BC Guidelines are clinical practice guidelines and protocols that provide recommendations to B.C. practitioners on delivering high quality, appropriate care to patients with specific clinical conditions or diseases. These “Made in BC” clinical practice guidelines are developed by the Guidelines and Protocol Advisory Committee (GPAC), an advisory committee to the Medical Services Commission. The primary audience for BC Guidelines is BC physicians, nurse practitioners, and medical students. However, other audiences such as health educators, health authorities, allied health organizations, pharmacists, and nurses may also find them to be a useful resource.

There are several ways to find the guidelines you are looking for.

What's New

External Review for Opioid Use Disorder Guideline Now Closed 

The final version of the Opioid Use Disorder guideline is expected soonThe draft guideline can still be downloaded from our External Review page.

This guideline presents recommendations for diagnosis and management of opioid use disorder in primary care with a focus on induction and maintenance of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) opioid agonist treatment for adults and youth (ages 12 years and older).   

This is a summary version of the recently published provincial Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder developed by the BC Centre on Substance Use and Ministry of Health, available at bccsu.ca.

Frailty in Older Adults - Early Diagnosis and Management

We are pleased to announce the release of the revised guideline Frailty in Older Adults - Early Identification and Management (2017).

Key recommendations include:

  • Early identification and management of patients with frailty or vulnerable to frailty provides an opportunity to suggest appropriate preventive and rehabilitative actions (e.g. exercise program, review of diet and nutrition, medication review) to be taken to slow, prevent, or even reverse decline associated with frailty.
  • Use a diligent case finding approach to identify patients with frailty, particularly among older adults who regularly or increasingly require health and social services. However, routine frailty screening of the general population of older adults is not recommended.
  • Many patients with frailty can be assessed and managed in the primary care setting through a network of support, which may include family, caregivers, and community care providers. Coordinate care with other care providers and ensure patients and caregivers are referred to or connected with local health care and social services.
  • Polypharmacy is common in patients with frailty. Consider the benefits and harms of medications by conducting a medication review in all patients with frailty.
  • Initiate advance care planning discussions for patients with frailty or vulnerable to frailty.

We are also pleased to introduce a number of resources to accompany this guideline:

New BC Guidelines Mobile App Now Available at BCGuidelinesApp.ca

We are pleased to announce the release of our new BC Guidelines Mobile App for Android and Apple devices.

BC Guidelines has partnered with Dr. Matthew Toom, an experienced computer programmer and UBC Family Medicine Resident, to create the new BC Guidelines Mobile App. The free and redesigned mobile app works even without Internet connectivity so busy practitioners can instantly access BC Guidelines on any Apple or Android mobile device no matter where they are working.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Diagnosis and Management (2017)

REVISION - August 2017: The COPD Flare-Up Action Plan has been updated to clarify how long a patient should wait before commencing an oral corticosteroid or antibiotic during a COPD flare-up - see COPD Flare-Up Action Plan.  

We are pleased to announce the release of the revised guideline Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Diagnosis and Management (2017).

New and amended key recommendations include:

  • Use spirometry to confirm airflow obstruction in all patients suspected of having COPD. [Amended, 2017]
  • Implement pharmacologic therapy in a stepwise approach and use the lowest step that achieves optimal control based on the patient’s severity of COPD. [New, 2017]
  • Develop an exacerbation action plan with the patient for pharmacologic therapies including short-acting bronchodilators, oral corticosteroids, and antibiotics. [Amended, 2017]
  • Use routine follow-ups to evaluate the patient's inhaler technique and adherence regularly. Evaluating inhaler technique is particularly important in patients who are older, frail, or cognitively impaired. [New, 2017]

New Partner Guidelines

Biopsychosocialspiritual Withdrawal Management Services and Bugs and Drugs®

We are pleased to provide links to two new partner guidelines on our Partner Guidelines page:

Perinatal Guidelines and Standards - Perinatal Services BC

BC Inter-professional Palliative Symptom Management Guidelines - BC Centre for Palliative Care www.bc-cpc.ca/cpc/symptom-management-guidelines/ 

Other Updates

Updated GPAC Handbook Now Available

Want to learn more about the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee and the BC Guidelines development process? Check out our recently updated GPAC Handbook (2017)

Earn Continuing Medical Education Credits with BC Guidelines

Update on Mainpro+® Credits for Family Physicians

With the launch of the College of Family Physicians of Canada's new Mainpro+ system, there are now more opportunities to earn credit for continuing medical education / continuing professional development through using and participating in the development of BC Guidelines. For more details, see Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Credits.