About the Practice Portal

About This Content

The goal of ASHA's Practice Portal is to assist audiologists and speech-language pathologists in their day-to-day practices by making it easier to find the best available evidence and expertise in patient care, identify resources that have been vetted for relevance and credibility, and increase practice efficiency. Our goal is not to provide a practice 'recipe' but to make available to you the information and resources you need to guide your decision-making. The Practice Portal site and the content of the clinical and professional issues topics are in "beta" mode and will evolve in response to user feedback.

Content Development Process

Content on the professional issue and clinical topic pages provides key information on specific subjects and connects users to additional sources of information, evidence, and resources they need to guide their clinical decision-making. Topic ideas come from ASHA members and volunteers, staff, and other constituent groups and page content is developed through a comprehensive process.

  • An internal staff team-comprising representatives from Practices, Research, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs-creates an outline of information to be covered on each page. This outline is then vetted by subject-matter experts. In the case of clinical topics, the outline also becomes the framework for developing an evidence map on the topic.
  • The National Center for Evidence-Based Practice (N-CEP) begins developing an evidence map for the topic. The resources identified in the maps-including systematic reviews, guidelines, and patient perspectives, as well as ASHA policy documents and resources-provide the basis for the initial content on the page. A first draft is created.
  • Teams of subject-matter experts review the draft, identify areas in need of revision, and, as needed, work to develop specific content. The overarching goal is to identify "need-to-know" information for busy clinical practitioners.
  • The revised content undergoes select peer review, in which all subject-matter experts involved in the earlier stages of the process-and four additional experts-review the revised draft.
  • The content is revised based on comments. The page is published online in a beta format and made accessible to invited members of the profession for review and comment on the material.

Clinical topic and professional issue content will be reviewed, and, as necessary, revised, on a regular basis. Timing for this revision will be determined by the speed of new developments in the evidence base for a given topic area.

Expert Opinion and Evidence Highlights

The goal of evidence-based practice is the integration of clinical expertise/expert opinion, external scientific evidence, and client/patient/caregiver values to provide high-quality services reflecting the interests, values, needs and choices of the individuals served. When applicable, the Practice Portal pages include specific expert opinion and evidence highlights.

Evidence Highlights are representative of the body of high-quality evidence on a specific topic. Consistency/direction of evidence, applicable populations, and outcomes are all considered when determining the representativeness of the evidence highlights. See N-CEP's criteria for high-quality evidence-based systematic reviews.

Expert Opinion comprises recommendations from a consensus-based decision making process from:

It is the clinician's task to interpret these elements as they apply to each particular client and situation. Links to complete guidelines and systematic reviews and supporting documents are included so that this information can be reviewed in context. Evidence maps provide additional systematic reviews, guidelines, and patient perspectives that should be considered when making clinical decisions.

How can you participate?

Content for the Practice Portal's professional issues and clinical topics are developed through a collaborative process. Nominate yourself and/or others to serve as subject-matter experts or beta testers in your area of interest or practice.

In addition, you can assist by

  • alerting ASHA Practice Portal staff to new information or supplemental resources, such as newly developed tests, clinical practice guidelines, or systematics reviews to be considered for addition to the summary;
  • making suggestions on how information can be better organized.

ASHA's Practice Portal represents a new process and format for creating and delivering content to members. It will evolve, based on your feedback. Please provide us with the information and insights we need to make this a valuable asset for you.