Scientific Publications: Purposes and Processes

Scientific publications from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) facilitate informed healthcare decisions. Here’s an overview:

Practice Guidelines apply recommendations of the AHA and American College of Cardiology (ACC) Task Force on Practice Guidelines, undergo peer review, and require AHA Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee (SACC) approval with final approval by the AHA Executive Committee. Learn more about Practice Guideline Methodology.

Scientific Statements promote greater awareness about cardiovascular diseases and stroke, represent a consensus of leading experts, undergo blinded peer review, and require SACC approval with final approval by the AHA Executive Committee.

Science Advisories convey AHA/ASA positions on the issues, undergo peer review and require SACC approval with final approval by the AHA Executive Committee.

Presidential Advisories are important papers initiated by AHA medical officers. These papers undergo SACC approval and final approval by the AHA Executive Committee.

Statistical Advisories and Alerts offer providers and public health professionals insights about urgent statistical issues, undergo peer review, and require SACC approval, and final approval by the AHA Executive Committee.

Policy Statements reflect the work of expert panels who address complex issues and offer recommendations and considerations regarding clinical and public policy. They require peer review, approval by the AHA Advocacy Coordinating Committee, SACC review, and approval by the AHA Executive Committee.

Conference Proceedings disseminate new and emerging scientific knowledge, and prompt discussions about future research. These materials reflect the opinions of conference participants and not necessarily the opinions or policies of the AHA. They require SACC review and approval by the AHA Executive Committee before publication.

Clinical Data Standards are sets of standardized elements and definitions for data collection. They are developed by the AHA and ACC under the guidance of the ACC/AHA Task Force on Clinical Data Standards. These standards foster comparisons of clinical outcomes reported by trials and registries, and facilitate better data management for future trials and registries. The standardized definitions are also used to assess and improve quality-of-care and clinical performance. Clinical Data Standards undergo peer review and require SACC approval with final approval by the AHA Executive Committee.

Performance Measures are derived from practice guidelines. Developed by the ACC/AHA Task Force on Performance Measures, they define specific and measurable elements of care, and give practitioners tools to evaluate and improve their quality of care. Performance Measures undergo peer review and require SACC approval with final approval by the AHA Executive Committee.

Clinical Competence and Training Statements reflect recommendations of the AHA, ACC and American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) Task Force on Clinical Competence. The recommendations, which are evidence-based or reflect expert opinions, help practitioners achieve and maintain the cognitive and technical skills needed to competently perform specific cardiovascular services and procedures, and leverage appropriate technology. Indications and contraindications for specific services or procedures are not included. Clinical Competence and Training Statements undergo peer review and require SACC approval, with final approval by the AHA Executive Committee.