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Guidelines and Current Assessment of Health Care Responsibility in Italy


Clinical guidelines are a potential tool for improving the effectiveness and quality of healthcare, decreasing variability in clinical practice, and preventing adverse events. In the purview of Law no. 24/2017, adherence to national guidelines can lead to a reduction in medical malpractice claims and the practice of so-called “defensive medicine”. The law has assigned a central role to the guidelines, establishing the National Institute of Health through the new Italian National Center for Clinical Excellence, Quality, and Security (CNEC) as the methodological guarantor in the process of national guideline development. Here we discuss the issue of professional liability as recently outlined by the Gelli-Bianco Law (no. 24/2017), taking into account the clinical significance and medicolegal value of the guidelines.