Evidence-based guidelines hold considerable promise for continued improvement of health-care delivery. However, the availability of clinical practice guidelines does not automatically lead to changes in practice patterns. Using a "push-pull-capacity" model, this article describes strategies to improve guideline implementation for three types of organizations: national organizations, insurer and health-care organizations, and health-care purchasers. Push strategies focus on the guideline development process and include rigorous review and meta-analysis of peer-reviewed research, and use of multidisciplinary expert teams, subjecting guidelines to peer review and comment and using measurable clinical outcomes to define guidelines. PULL: strategies focus on creating a demand for guideline implementation and include professional organization endorsement, quality measures based on guideline-related outcomes, and guideline-based performance objectives in purchaser contracts and physician compensation agreements. Capacity strategies focus on systems that facilitate guideline implementation. Example strategies are providing benefit coverage and reimbursement for guideline-based treatment protocols, and implementing clinical information systems for population-based tracking, outcomes monitoring, and benchmarking feedback.