During the last decade, studies have shown the benefits of using clinical guidelines in the practice of medicine. Although the importance of these guidelines is widely recognized, health care organizations typically pay more attention to guideline development than to guideline implementation for routine use in daily care. However, studies have shown that clinicians are often not familiar with written guidelines and do not apply them appropriately during the actual care process. Implementing guidelines in computer-based decision support systems promises to improve the acceptance and application of guidelines in daily practice because the actions and observations of health care workers are monitored and advice is generated whenever a guideline is not followed. Such implementations are increasingly applied in diverse areas such as policy development, utilization management, education, clinical trials, and workflow facilitation. Many parties are developing computer-based guidelines as well as decision support systems that incorporate these guidelines. This paper reviews generic approaches for developing and implementing computer-based guidelines that facilitate decision support. It addresses guideline representation, acquisition, verification and execution aspects. The paper describes five approaches (the Arden Syntax, GuideLine Interchange Format (GLIF), PROforma, Asbru and EON), after the approaches are compared and discussed.