In recent years, pediatric health care has embraced the concept of quality improvement to improve patient outcomes. As quality improvement efforts are implemented, network collaboration (where multiple centers and practices implement standardized programs) is a popular option. In a collaborative network, improvement in the conduct of structural, process and outcome quality measures can lead to improvements in overall health, and benchmarks can be used to assess and compare progress. In this review article, we provided an overview of the quality improvement movement and the role of quality indicators in this movement. We reviewed current quality improvement efforts in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as well as other pediatric chronic illnesses. We discussed the need to standardize the development of quality indicators used in quality improvement networks to assess medical care, and the validation techniques which can be used to ensure that process indicators result in improved outcomes of clinical significance. We aimed to assess current quality improvement efforts in pediatric IBD and other diseases, such as childhood asthma, childhood arthritis, and neonatal health. By doing so, we hope to learn from their successes and failures and to move the field forward for future improvements in the care provided to children with IBD.
Inflammatory bowel disease; Colitis; Ulcerative; Crohn’s disease; Child; Adolescent; Quality of health care; Review
American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Oncology Practice Initiative has grown to include 973 practices as of 2010. Practices demonstrated rates of end-of-life care and other measures of quality.
The American health care system, including the cancer care system, is under pressure to improve patient outcomes and lower the cost of care. Government payers have articulated an interest in partnering with the private sector to create learning communities to measure quality and improve the value of health care. In 2006, the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) unveiled the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI), which has become a key component of the measurement system to promote quality cancer care. QOPI is a physician-led, voluntary, practice-based, quality-improvement program, using performance measurement and benchmarking among oncology practices across the United States. Since its inception, ASCO's QOPI has grown steadily to include 973 practices as of November 2010. One key area that QOPI has addressed is end-of-life care. During the most recent data collection cycle in the Fall of 2010, those practices completing multiple data collection cycles had better performance on care of pain compared with sites participating for the first time (62.61% v 46.89%). Similarly, repeat QOPI participants demonstrated meaningfully better performance than their peers in the rate of documenting discussions of hospice and palliative care (62.42% v 54.65%) and higher rates of hospice enrollment. QOPI demonstrates how a strong performance measurement program can lead to improved quality and value of care for patients.
Being able to compare hospitals in terms of quality and safety between countries is important for a number of reasons. For example, the 2011 European Union directive on patients' rights to cross-border health care places a requirement on all member states to provide patients with comparable information on health-care quality, so that they can make an informed choice. Here, we report on the feasibility of using common process and outcome indicators to compare hospitals for quality and safety in five countries (England, Portugal, The Netherlands, Sweden and Norway).
Main Challenges Identified
The cross-country comparison identified the following seven challenges with respect to comparing the quality of hospitals across Europe: different indicators are collected in each country; different definitions of the same indicators are used; different mandatory versus voluntary data collection requirements are in place; different types of organizations oversee data collection; different levels of aggregation of data exist (country, region and hospital); different levels of public access to data exist; and finally, hospital accreditation and licensing systems differ in each country.
Our findings indicate that if patients and policymakers are to compare the quality and safety of hospitals across Europe, then further work is urgently needed to agree the way forward. Until then, patients will not be able to make informed choices about where they receive their health care in different countries, and some governments will remain in the dark about the quality and safety of care available to their citizens as compared to that available in neighbouring countries.
measurement of quality; external quality assessment; health-care system
Assessing the quality of cancer care (QoCC) has become increasingly important to providers, regulators and purchasers of care worldwide. The aim of this study was to develop evidence-based quality indicators (QIs) for colorectal cancer (CRC) to be applied in a population-based setting.
A comprehensive evidence-based literature search was performed to identify the initial list of QIs, which were then selected and developed using a two-step-modified Delphi process involving two multidisciplinary expert panels with expertise in CRC care, quality of care and epidemiology.
The QIs of the clinical cancer care (QC3) population-based project, which involves all the public and private hospitals and clinics present on the territory of Canton Ticino (South Switzerland).
Ticino Cancer Registry, The Colorectal Cancer Working Group (CRC-WG) and the external academic Advisory Board (AB).
Main outcome measures
Set of QIs which encompass the whole diagnostic-treatment process of CRC.
Of the 149 QIs that emerged from 181 sources of literature, 104 were selected during the in-person meeting of CRC-WG. During the Delphi process, CRC-WG shortened the list to 89 QI. AB finally validated 27 QIs according to the phase of care: diagnosis (N=6), pathology (N=3), treatment (N=16) and outcome (N=2).
Using the validated Delphi methodology, including a literature review of the evidence and integration of expert opinions from local clinicians and international experts, we were able to develop a list of QIs to assess QoCC for CRC. This will hopefully guarantee feasibility of data retrieval, as well as acceptance and translation of QIs into the daily clinical practice to improve QoCC. Moreover, evidence-based selected QIs allow one to assess immediate changes and improvements in the diagnostic-therapeutic process that could be translated into a short-term benefit for patients with a possible gain both in overall and disease-free survival.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH; Quality in health care < HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION & MANAGEMENT; Gastrointestinal tumours < ONCOLOGY; Gastrointestinal tumours < GASTROENTEROLOGY
Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer and survivors of cancer in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood are a constituency facing disparities of care affecting quality of life and other outcomes in many parts of the world. In Canada, this situation occurs in a nation with population-based cancer control programs and a government-funded healthcare system. The Canadian Task Force on Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer was established in 2008 with a mission to ensure that AYA-aged Canadians with cancer and AYA survivors of cancer have prompt, equitable access to the best care, and to establish and support research to identify how their health outcomes and quality of life can be optimized. Following a survey of existing services, and in consultation with survivors, healthcare professionals, and policy makers, the Task Force identified principles of care, priority issues for research and the establishment of outcome metrics, and strategies for implementing change that are designed to improve the outcomes and quality of life of this specific cohort of patients and survivors with unique developmental needs. The six broad recommendations highlight the need for age-appropriate psychosocial, survivorship, palliative, and medical care as well as research to redress inequities in the care provided to this group relative to both younger and older cancer patients. Improved care for this group will enable individuals to reach their full potential as productive, functioning members of society, and will provide economic and other societal benefits.
The authors used a quality data assessment tool to examine the relationship between conformance with palliative care quality measures and patient outcomes.
As palliative care further integrates into cancer care, descriptions of how supportive care quality measures improve patient outcomes are necessary to establish best practices.
We assessed the relationship between conformance to 18 palliative care quality measures and quality of life from data obtained using our novel point-of-care, electronic quality monitoring system, the Quality Data Collection Tool for Palliative Care (QDACT-PC). All patients with cancer from January 2008 through March 2011 seen in the Carolinas Palliative Care Consortium were evaluated for demographic, disease, prognostic, performance status, and measure conformance variables. Using univariate and multivariate regression, we examined the relationship between these variable and high quality of life at the initial specialty palliative care consultation.
Our cohort included 459 patients, the majority of whom were over age 65 years (66%) and white (84%). Lung (29.1%) and GI (24.7%) cancers were most common. In univariate analyses, conformance to assessment of comprehensive symptoms, fatigue and constipation assessment, timely management of pain and constipation, and timely emotional well-being assessment were associated with highest levels of quality of life (all Ps < .05). In a multivariate model (C-stat = 0.66), performance status (odds ratio [OR], 5.21; P = .003), estimated life expectancy (OR, 22.6; P = .003), conformance to the measure related to emotional well-being assessment (OR, 1.60; P = .026), and comprehensive screening of symptoms (OR, 1.74, P = .008) remained significant.
Oncology care pathways that routinely incorporate supportive care principles, such as comprehensive symptom and emotional well-being assessments, may improve patient outcomes.
African Americans bear an unequal burden of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer. The Deep South Network for Cancer Control (DSN) is a community–academic partnership operating in Alabama and Mississippi that was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to address cancer disparities using community-based participatory research approaches.
In addition to reporting on the plans of this work in progress, we describe the participatory process that local residents and the DSN used to identify needs and priorities, and elaborate on lessons learned from applying a participatory approach to the development of a community action plan.
We conducted 24 community discussion groups involving health care professionals, government officials, faith-based leaders, and other stakeholders to identify cancer health disparity needs, community resources/assets, and county priorities to eliminate cancer health disparities. To develop a community action plan, four working groups explored the themes that emerged from the discussion groups, taking into consideration evidence-based strategies and promising community practices.
The DSN formulated a community action plan focusing on (1) increasing physical activity by implementing a campaign for individual-level focused activity; (2) increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables by implementing NCI’s Body and Soul Program in local churches; (3) increasing cancer screening by raising awareness through individual, system, and provider agents of change; and (4) training community partners to become effective advocates.
A community–academic partnership must involve trust, respect, and an appreciation of partners’ strengths and differences. The DSN applied these guiding principles and learned pivotal lessons.
The Canadian province of Manitoba covers a large geographical area but only has one major urban center, Winnipeg. We sought to determine if regional differences existed in the quality of colorectal cancer care in a publicly funded health care system.
This was a population-based historical cohort analysis of the treatment and outcomes of Manitobans diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 2004 and 2006. Administrative databases were utilized to assess quality of care using published quality indicators.
A total of 2,086 patients were diagnosed with stage I to IV colorectal cancer and 42.2% lived outside of Winnipeg. Patients from North Manitoba had a lower odds of undergoing major surgery after controlling for other confounders (odds ratio (OR): 0.48, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26 to 0.90). No geographic differences existed in the quality measures of 30-day operative mortality, consultations with oncologists, surveillance colonoscopy, and 5-year survival. However, there was a trend towards lower survival in North Manitoba.
We found minimal differences by geography. However, overall compliance with quality measures is low and there are concerning trends in North Manitoba. This study is one of the few to evaluate population-based benchmarks for colorectal cancer therapy in Canada.
Colorectal cancer; Quality of care; Geography; Manitoba
Quality of life is an important concept which is subjective and personal; what is an acceptable quality of life to one may be 'worse than death' to another. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire to assess relatives' perceptions and attitudes towards their terminal stage cancer patients' management (information disclosure, treatment choice, hospitalization and support-communication and care) including aspects regarding end-of-life and quality-of-life decisions.
The final study consisted of 146 relatives of advanced terminal stage cancer patients receiving palliation, attending a Pain Relief and Palliative Care Unit. The questionnaire incorporated 6 multi-item and 7 single-item scales, and was developed following a systematic review of measures appropriate for use in palliative care settings.
Following analysis of the 25-item scale, the questionnaire has been validated as a shortened 21-item scale consisting of 5 multi-item and 5 single-item scales. Factor analysis was based upon information disclosure, hospitalization, and support-communication demonstrating Cronbach's alpha coefficients of 0.66, 0.5 and 0.70 respectively. Average item totals and inter-item scale correlations were between 0.62–0.70, with convergent validity correlations between 0.60–0.86. The questionnaire was well accepted by all subjects with an 8–10 minute completion time.
The shortened 21-item self-assessment questionnaire may provide acceptable and valid assessment of caregiver(s)/Greek cancer patients' relatives perceptions on palliative care.
Resource-limited countries increasingly depend on quality indicators to improve outcomes within HIV treatment programs, but indicators of program performance suitable for use at the local program level remain underdeveloped.
Using the existing literature as a guide, we applied standard quality improvement (QI) concepts to the continuum of HIV care from HIV diagnosis, to enrollment and retention in care, and highlighted critical service delivery process steps to identify opportunities for performance indicator development. We then identified existing indicators to measure program performance, citing examples used by pivotal donor agencies, and assessed their feasibility for use in surveying local program performance. Clinical delivery steps without existing performance measures were identified as opportunities for measure development. Using National Quality Forum (NQF) criteria as a guide, we developed measurement concepts suitable for use at the local program level that address existing gaps in program performance assessment.
This analysis of the HIV continuum of care identified seven critical process steps providing numerous opportunities for performance measurement. Analysis of care delivery process steps and the application of NQF criteria identified 24 new measure concepts that are potentially useful for improving operational performance in HIV care at the local level.
An evidence-based set of program-level quality indicators is critical for the improvement of HIV care in resource-limited settings. These performance indicators should be utilized as treatment programs continue to grow.
HIV/AIDS; Resource-poor; Quality indicator; Quality improvement
Physician job satisfaction is reportedly associated with interpersonal quality of care, such as patient satisfaction, but its association with technical quality of care, as determined by whether patients are offered recommended services, is unknown.
We explored whether the job satisfaction of hospital-employed physicians in Japan is associated with the technical quality of care, with an emphasis on process qualities as measured by quality indicators.
Cross-sectional study linking data from physician surveys with data abstracted from outpatient charts.
A total of 53 physicians working at 13 hospitals in Japan participated. Medical records covering 568 patients were reviewed.
Disease-specific indicators related to the care of patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and asthma, as well as disease-independent measures of the process of care were abstracted. We analyzed the association between the quality of care score for individual physicians, which is defined as the percentage of quality indicators satisfied among the total for which their patients were eligible, and physician job satisfaction, which was measured by a validated scale.
No statistically significant association between physician job satisfaction and quality of care was observed. A 1-standard deviation (SD) increment in the physician job satisfaction scale was associated with an increase of only 0.3% for overall quality (P = 0.85), −3.0% for hypertension (P = 0.22), 2.5% for type 2 diabetes (P = 0.44), 8.0% for asthma (P = 0.21), and −0.4% for cross-cutting care (P = 0.76).
Contrary to the positive association reported between physician job satisfaction and high quality of interpersonal care, no association was seen between physician job satisfaction and the technical quality of care.
physician job satisfaction; technical quality of care; process qualities; quality indicators
The UK has a universal health care system that is free at the point of access. Over the past decade, the UK government has implemented an ambitious agenda of quality improvement initiatives in chronic disease management.
To assess the quality of diabetes care and intermediate clinical outcomes within a multiethnic population after a sustained period of investment in quality improvement.
Population based cross-sectional survey, using electronic general practice records, carried out between November 2005 and January 2006.
Seven thousand six hundred five adults (≥18 years) with diabetes registered with 32 primary care practices.
Percentage achievement by ethnic group (black, south Asian, or white) of the quality indicators for diabetes in a new pay-for performance contract.
There were only modest variations in recording of process measures of care between ethnic groups, with no significant differences in recent measurement of blood pressure, HbA1c, cholesterol, micro-albuminuria, creatinine, or retinopathy screening attendance. Blacks and south Asians were significantly less likely to meet all three national treatment targets for diabetes (HbA1c ≤ 7.4%, blood pressure ≤ 145/85 mmHg, total cholesterol ≤ 5 mmol/L [193 mg/dL]) than whites (25.3%, 24.8% , and 32.0%, respectively).
Our findings suggest that substantial investment in quality improvement initiatives in the UK may have led to more systematic and equitable processes of care for diabetes but have not addressed ethnic disparities in intermediate clinical outcomes.
diabetes; primary care; quality; ethnicity
A review of national data confirms that while the quality of healthcare in the USA is slowly improving, disparities in diabetes prevalence, processes of care and outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities are not. Many quality measures can be addressed through system level interventions, referred to as quality improvement (QI), and QI collaboratives have been found to effectively improve processes of care for chronic conditions, including diabetes. However, the impact of QI collaboratives on the reduction of health disparities has been mixed. Lessons learned from previous QI collaboratives including the complexity of impacting clinical outcomes, the need for expert support for skills outside of QI methodology, limiting impact of poor data, and the need to develop disparities quality measures, can be used to inform future QI collaborative approaches to reduce diabetes racial/ethnic minority health disparities.
The extent of clinical exposure needed to ensure quality care has not been well determined during internal medicine training. We aimed to determine the association between clinical exposure (number of cases seen), self- reports of clinical competence, and type of institution (predictor variables) and quality of care (outcome variable) as measured by clinical vignettes.
Cross-sectional study using univariate and multivariate linear analyses in 11 teaching hospitals in Japan. Participants were physicians-in-training in internal medicine departments. Main outcome measure was standardized t-scores (quality of care) derived from responses to five clinical vignettes.
Of the 375 eligible participants, 263 (70.1%) completed the vignettes. Most were in their first (57.8%) and second year (28.5%) of training; on average, the participants were 1.8 years (range = 1–8) after graduation. Two thirds of the participants (68.8%) worked in university-affiliated teaching hospitals. The median number of cases seen was 210 (range = 10–11400). Greater exposure to cases (p = 0.0005), higher self-reports of clinical competence (p = 0.0095), and type of institution (p < 0.0001) were significantly associated with higher quality of care, using a multivariate linear model and adjusting for the remaining factors. Quality of care rapidly increased for the first 100 to 200 cases seen and tapered thereafter.
The amount of clinical exposure and levels of self-reports of clinical competence, not years after graduation, were positively associated with quality of care, adjusting for the remaining factors. The learning curve tapered after about 200 cases.
Due to increasing the complexity of breast cancer treatment it is of paramount importance to develop structured care in order to avoid a chaotic and non-consistent management of patients. Clinical pathways, a result of the adaptation of the documents used in industrial quality management namely the Standard Operating Procedures, can be used to improve efficiency and quality of care. They also aim to re-centre the focus on the patient’s overall journey, rather than the contribution of each specialty or caring function independently.
The effect of the implementation and prospective systematic evaluation of a clinical care pathway for the management of patients with early breast cancer in a single breast unit is evaluated over a long time interval (between 2002 and 2010). Annual analysis of predefined clinical outcome measures, service indicators, team indicators, process indicators and financial indicators was performed. Pathway quality control meetings were organized at least once a year. Systematic feedback was given to the team members, and if necessary the pathway was adapted according to evidence based literature data and in house pathway related data in order to improve quality.
The annual number of patients included in the pathway (289 vs. 390, P <0.01), proportion of patients with Tis-T1 tumors (42% vs. 58%, P <0.01), negative lymph nodes (44% vs. 58%, P <0.01) and no metastases at diagnosis (91.5% vs. 95.9%) has risen significantly between 2002 and 2010. Evolution of mandatory quality indicators defined by EUSOMA shows a significant improvement of quality of cancer care. Particularly, the proportion of patients having anti-hormonal therapy (84.8% vs. 97.4%, P = 0.002) and adjuvant chemotherapy according to the guidelines (72% vs. 95.6%, P = 0.028) increased dramatically. Patient satisfaction improved significantly (P <0.05). Progression free 4-year survival was significantly higher for all patients, for T1 tumors only and for T2-T4 tumors only, treated between 2006 to 2008 compared to between 1999 to 2002 and 2003 to 2005 (P = 0.006, P = 0.05, P = 0.06, respectively). Overall 4-year survival of the entire population treated between 2006 and 2008 was significantly better (P = 0.05).
Although the patient characteristics changed over the years due to better screening, this clinical pathway and regular audit of quality indicators for the treatment of patients with operable breast cancer proved to be important tools to improve the quality of care, patient satisfaction and outcome.
Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Clinical pathway; Quality control; Radiotherapy; Surgery
Measurement of outcomes is increasingly employed as an indicator of the quality of clinical care. The most commonly measured outcome in many clinical studies, especially in oncology, still remains the overall survival rate. Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), Oman, is striving for excellence through quality management. In seeking continual improvement, quality measurement exercises have been initiated throughout the Hospital. We present the overall survival rate of four of the ten most common cancers diagnosed in Oman.
The cancers included non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), breast cancer, and stomach cancer. The studies were all retrospective and had been conducted previously. For present purposes, only the overall survival was compared with studies both from the region, and with bench-mark studies.
For NHL, with a median follow-up of 8 months, the 2-year overall survival rate was 64%; 90% for low risk, 55% for intermediate risk, and 15% for high risk groups. For HL, the 5-year overall survival rate was 64%; 76% for low risk and 42% for high risk. For breast cancer, the 5-year survival rate was 67%; percentages were 88%, 75% and 59% for Groups I, II, and III respectively. For gastric cancer, the 5-year survival rate was 16.5 %; 24% for the non-metastatic group.
The outcome of patients with early stages and fewer adverse prognostic factors is comparable to what has been reported in the international literature; however, the outcome is inferior for patients presenting with advanced stage disease and several adverse prognostic factors.
Oncology; Outcome assessment; Quality indicators; Lymphoma; Hodgkin’s; Lymphoma; Non-Hodgkin; Cancer, breast; Cancer, gastric; Oman
Given recent developments in integrated care, it is becoming increasingly important for the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate to direct its supervision in a way that may help speed up the implementation of integrated care.
Description of care practice
Since the implementation of integrated care for chronic patients is facing obstacles, alternative methods are required to ensure that the implementation process does not run into any delays. By applying a risk-based approach to integrated care providers, the Inspectorate can analyse the care providers' performance by means of quality indicators and rank them. In order to be effective, appropriated supervision arrangements will be applied to the care providers of integrated care.
With a ranking model transparency will be improved and this may encourage integrated care providers to strive for greater quality due to the competition inherent in the system. Supervision based on advice and encouragement might be helpful in the implementation of integrated care.
Integrated care also requires integrated supervision, which means the Inspectorate may have to reconsider its working methods and the composition of its inspection teams.
inspectorate; external supervision; integrated care
The scope and scale of problems in the quality of health service provision have been increasingly recognised in recent years. Policy and planning for financing are usually concerned with how funding is made available and allocated, rather than with what is being achieved, including the quality of health services delivered. A fundamental challenge is how to improve the delivery of health services to achieve improved patient outcomes and to optimize financial outcomes. To accomplish this it is essential that the debates on quality of care and financing are aligned. Approaches to improving the quality of care are drawn from Australia, the US, and the UK. Financing arrangments for care at a national level have a bearing on how payment incentives can be used to promote or impede quality. The level of overall expenditure is obviously important, as are the mechanisms for payment. Long term programs to build knowledge, standardise processes, provide credible performance data and foster accountability are required to ensure that further investments lead to improvement in care.
Information systems are increasingly important for measuring and improving health care quality. A number of integrated health care delivery systems use advanced information systems and integrated decision support to carry out quality assurance activities, but none as large as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VHA's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) is a large-scale, multidisciplinary quality improvement initiative designed to ensure excellence in all areas where VHA provides health care services, including inpatient, outpatient, and long-term care settings. In this paper, we describe the role of information systems in the VHA QUERI process, highlight the major information systems critical to this quality improvement process, and discuss issues associated with the use of these systems.
Continuing medical education (CME) is important for professional development, to improve doctors’ clinical performance that ultimately influences the quality of the health outcomes. In the presence of an increasing number of family physicians serve in the primary health care system upon graduation in Oman make us to consider the meta-cognition of the leaner and engaged them in learning process. The purpose of this paper is to examine ways of improving the continuing education methods for the physicians.
To assess the preferred method of continuing education for primary health care physicians.
We conducted a program evaluation among a group of general physicians who were involved in some of the activities in continuing education at end of their program in the Muscat region health centres in Oman. The main outcome measure was to study the preferred method for CME.
The majority of the participants believe that continuing medical education improves their practice. In addition, the finding suggests that small group learning and combination of methods are the preferred methods of continuing education for primary health care physicians.
Interactive small group learning is shown to be more effective to achieve the learning objectives and ultimately improve practice. Practice-based small group learning is the method we recommended.
Continuing medical education; interactive learning; small group; professional education; problem-based learning
With newer information indicating more favorable outcomes of intensive care therapy for lung cancer patients, intensivists increasingly are willing to initiate an aggressive trial of this therapy. Concerns remain, however, that the experience of the intensive care unit for patients with lung cancer and their families often may be distressing. Regardless of prognosis, all patients with critical illness should receive high-quality palliative care, including symptom control, communication about appropriate care goals, and support for both patient and family throughout the illness trajectory. In this article, we suggest strategies for integrating palliative care with intensive care for critically ill lung cancer patients. We address assessment and management of symptoms, knowledge and skill needed for effective communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration for patient and family support. We review the role of expert consultants in providing palliative care in the intensive care unit, while highlighting the responsibility of all critical care clinicians to address basic palliative care needs of patients and their families.
Ensuring high quality care for persons with diabetes remains a challenge for healthcare systems globally with consistent evidence of suboptimal care and outcomes. There is increasing interest in quality improvement strategies to improve diabetes management as reflected by a growing number of systematic reviews. These reviews are of varying quality and dispersed across many sources. In this paper, we present an overview of systematic reviews evaluating the impact of interventions to improve the quality of diabetes care.
We searched for systematic reviews evaluating the effectiveness of any intervention intended to improve intermediate patient outcomes and process of care measures for patients with any type of diabetes. Two reviewers independently screened search results, appraised each systematic review using AMSTAR and extracted data from high quality reviews (AMSTAR score ≥ 5). Within reviews, we used vote counting by direction of effect to report the number of studies favouring an intervention for each outcome. We produced summaries of results for each intervention category.
We identified 125 reviews of varying methodological quality and summarised key findings from 50 high quality reviews. We categorised reviews by quality improvement intervention. Eight reviews were broad based (involving a variety of strategies). Other reviews considered: patient education and support (n = 21), telemedicine (n = 10), provider role changes (n = 7), and organisational changes (n = 4). Reviews reported intermediate patient outcomes (e.g. glycaemic control) (n = 49) and process of care outcomes (n = 9). There was evidence of considerable overlap of included studies between reviews.
There is consistent evidence from high quality systematic reviews that patient education and support, provider role changes, and telemedicine are associated with improvements in glycaemic and vascular risk factor control in patients. There is less evidence about the impact of quality improvement interventions on other key process measures such as screening patients for diabetic complications. This paper provides decision makers with a comprehensive overview of evidence from high quality systematic reviews about the effects of quality improvement interventions on improving diabetes care.
Diabetes mellitus; Quality assurance; Health care; Quality improvement; Evidence-based practice; Evidence-based medicine; Overview of systematic reviews; Diabetes management; Intervention strategies
Quality indicators are increasingly emphasized in the performance of colonoscopy. This study aimed to determine the standard of care rendered by surgeon-endoscopists in a Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center by evaluating the indications for colonoscopy and outcome performance measures according to established quality indicators for colonoscopy.
A prospective standardized computer endoscopic reporting database (ProVation MD) was retrospectively reviewed. All colonoscopies performed by attending surgeons at the San Diego VA medical center between 1 January 2004 and 31 July 2007 were included in the study. Patients with charts that had incomplete reporting were excluded. The quality indicators used included the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) criteria for colorectal cancer screening, the American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines for postcancer resection surveillance, and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopists (ASGE) quality indicators for colonoscopy.
The data for 558 patients (96% men) were analyzed. The average patient age was 63 years (range, 25–93 years). Almost all the colonoscopies (99%) were performed in accordance with established criteria. The most common indications for colonoscopy were screening (n = 143, 26%), non-acute gastrointestinal bleeding (n = 127, 23%), polyp surveillance (n = 100, 18%), postcancer resection surveillance (n = 91, 17%), abdominal pain (n = 19, 4%), and anemia (n = 14, 3%). Postcancer resection surveillance colonoscopies were performed according to recommended criteria in 98% of the cases. The cecal intubation rate was 97%, and the overall adenoma detection rate was 26%. Two patients (<1%) experienced complications requiring intervention.
The study data indicate that surgeon-performed colonoscopies meet standard quality criteria for indications and performance measures. The authors therefore conclude that surgeon-endoscopists demonstrate proficiency in the standard of care for colonoscopy examinations.
Adenoma detection rate; Colonoscopy; Performance measures; Quality; Surgeon-endoscopist
Since 2001, UCLA has operated IMPACT: Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians with prostate cancer. Funded by the California Department of Public Health, with a cumulative budget of over $80 million, the program provides comprehensive care for low-income, uninsured Californian men with biopsy-proven prostate cancer. Health services research conducted with program enrollees, through the UCLA Men’s Health Study, yields an opportunity to perform qualitative and quantitative assessments of patient-reported outcomes in these men, all members of historically underserved, primarily minority populations. This review summarizes data from several studies in which validated instruments were administered longitudinally in 727 participants, prospectively measuring health-related quality of life (HRQOL), self-efficacy in interactions with physician interactions, social and emotional health, symptom distress, satisfaction with care, and other patient-reported outcomes.
The ability to measure health system quality has become a priority for governments, the private sector, and the public. Quality indicators (QIs) refer to clear, measurable items related to outcomes. The use of QIs can initiate local quality improvement and track changes in quality over time as interventions are implemented.
We identified existing evidence-based indicators of quality pediatric orthopaedic care and evaluated published QIs that may be applicable to pediatric orthopaedic care.
Using five standard search engines we searched the literature using terms such as “quality indicators,” “orthopaedic surgery,” and “pediatric.” Study selection was performed in a stepwise manner, first by title, then abstract, and then full-text review. Of the 604 citations identified, 13 articles were selected for inclusion. Eight papers included only pediatric patients.
The most commonly reported indicator was mortality followed by postoperative complications. Reoperation and readmission rates were also reported along with patient-centered QIs, although with less frequency.
Although mortality and postoperative complications were the most frequently reported QIs, concern for their applicability was raised because of their relative infrequency in pediatrics. Patient-centered QIs appear to be the most useful tools reported, although their use is somewhat limited in the published literature. Although there are benefits and drawbacks to all reported QIs, patient-centered and surgeon-defined outcomes along with cost-effectiveness have important roles in evaluating the quality of pediatric orthopaedic care.