Quality indicators for all dimensions of infertility care quality: consensus between professionals and patients
SourceHuman Reproduction, 28, 6, (2013), pp. 1584-97
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectNCEBP 12: Human Reproduction; NCEBP 4: Quality of hospital and integrated care
STUDY QUESTION: What is the relative importance of the six dimensions of quality of care according to different stakeholders and can a quality indicator set address all six quality dimensions and incorporate the views from professionals working in different disciplines and from patients? SUMMARY ANSWER: Safety, effectiveness and patient centeredness were the most important quality dimensions. All six quality dimensions can be assessed with a set of 24 quality indicators, which is face valid and acceptable according to both professionals from different disciplines and patients. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: To our knowledge, no study has weighted the relative importance of all quality dimensions to infertility care. Additionally, there are very few infertility care-specific quality indicators and no quality indicator set covers all six quality dimensions and incorporated the views of professionals and patients. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE AND DURATION: A three-round iterative Delphi survey including patients and professionals from four different fields, conducted in two European countries over the course of 2011 and 2012. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTINGS AND METHODS: Dutch and Belgian gynaecologists, embryologists, counsellors, nurses/midwifes and patients took part (n = 43 in round 1 and finally 30 in round 3). Respondents ranked the six quality dimensions twice for importance and their agreement was evaluated. Furthermore, in round 1, respondents gave suggestions, which were subsequently uniformly formulated as quality indicators. In rounds 2 and 3, respondents rated the quality indicators for preparedness to measure and for importance (relation to quality and prioritization for benchmarking). Providing feedback allowed selecting indicators based on consensus between stakeholder groups. Measurable indicators, important to all stakeholder groups, were selected for each quality dimension. MAIN RESULTS: All stakeholder groups and most individuals agreed that safety, effectiveness and patient centeredness were the most important quality dimensions. A total of 498 suggestions led to the development of 298 indicators. Professionals were sufficiently prepared to measure 204 of these indicators. Based on importance, 52 (7-15 per dimension; round 2) and finally 24 (4 per dimension; round 3) quality indicators were selected. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The final quality indicator set does not cover the entire care process, but rather takes a 'sample' of each quality dimension. Although the quality indicators are face valid and acceptable, their psychometric characteristics need to be tested by further research. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Quality management should focus on safety, effectiveness and patient centeredness of care. Clinics can use the quality indicator set to assess all quality dimensions of their care.
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