Background: Guidelines for healthcare workers in community and town hospitals would benefit the quality and efficiency of healthcare, especially in prevention and control of non-communicable chronic diseases for those in less developed areas of China.
Objectives: A pilot survey of guidelines for local healthcare workers at the Sichuan Tian Fu New Area, China, to understand the needs of guidelines in local practice.
Methods: We sent self-made questionnaires to health workers based in the town and community-level hospitals in Sichuan Tian Fu New Area, China, and collected information about their knowledge, access and use of guidelines in practice. The questionnaires mainly included basic information, questions about use, needs, access and suggestions for guidelines in practice.
Results: Seventy people responded (response rate 55%).
1. The education level of most responders was high academic (31/70) or undergraduate (34/70). Qualifications included: 50 medical practitioners or assistants, 12 resident physicians, one associate chief physician and four others. Sixty-three worked at a town hospital, five at a community hospital and two at a village clinic.
2. 34/70 knew three local version guidelines on hypertension 2010, diabetes 2013 and bronchial asthma 2013; 12/70 didn’t know them. Furthermore, the guides on clinical diagnosis and treatment and clinical drugs are also used in local practice.
3. Half (35/70) thought there was easy access to the local guidelines and 58.6% (41/70) thought them readable.
4. They obtained guidelines in practice usually from their hospital (14/70), the internet (12/70), continued training (11/70), self-bought (9/70), textbook (3/70), library (2/70) or no answer (8/70).
5. Their suggestions about guidelines use and access included: timely use and issued by hospital and/or health administration, more guides on local common diseases, emergency disease, guideline recommendations should be linked to medical insurance coverage, etc.
Conclusions: The knowledge of and access to the latest version of guidelines is not satisfactory. More timely introduction, training and interpretation of guidelines in local versions is essential.