BC Guidelines

Logo of 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: Iron Deficiency – Investigation and Management  - Open until December 31st, 2018

This is a revision of the 2010 Iron Deficiency – Investigation and Management guideline. The purpose of this guideline is to provide recommendations to primary care providers for the investigation and management of iron deficiency among patients of all ages. 

Updates include:

  • Revised guidance for interpretation of serum ferritin in adults
  • Enhanced guidance regarding diagnosis and management of iron deficiency in pediatrics
  • New algorithms to guide investigation of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia

Step 1: Download the draft guideline for review (PDF or Word):

Step 2: Complete the online questionnaire by December 31st, 2018 at: https://survey.health.gov.bc.ca/iron

For more information, please refer to our External Review web page.

Opioid Use Disorder - Diagnosis and Management in Primary Care 

Opioid Use Disorder - Diagnosis and Management in Primary Care (2018)

This new BC Guideline, developed in collaboration with the BC Centre on Substance Use, presents recommendations for diagnosis and management of opioid use disorder in primary care.  The guideline focuses 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.

Ultrasound Prioritization

Ultrasound Prioritization (2018)

This new BC Guideline summarizes suggested wait times for common indications where ultrasound is the recommended first imaging test. The purpose is to inform primary care practitioners of how referrals are prioritized by radiologists, radiology departments and community imaging clinics across the province.  In some cases, notes and alternative tests are provided for additional clinical context.  This guideline is an adaptation of the British Columbia Radiological Society (BCRS) Ultrasound Prioritization Guidelines (2016).

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.