Quality indicator set for systemic sclerosis

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Mar-Apr 2011;29(2 Suppl 65):S33-9. Epub 2011 May 16.

Abstract

Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is associated with a marked economic burden, high treatment costs and decreased productivity. Although treatment strategies for SSc can have a substantial effect on patients' outcomes, it is not known whether patients with SSc consistently receive such care. Evaluation of process-of-care quality requires specification of quality indicators (QIs), clinically detailed statements of the eligible patients and the care they should receive to achieve a minimal level of quality of care. Our objective was to develop QIs for patients with SSc.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature review of diagnosis and treatment of SSc and proposed QIs that were evaluated by a national Expert Panel (n=9) who were asked to review the supporting literature and individually rank the validity of each QI. These rankings formed the basis of discussion at a face-to-face meeting following the RAND/UCLA method to integrate expert opinion with literature review to identify a set of final QIs. We then presented these QIs to members of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium (SCTC).

Results: Thirty-two QIs for SSc care were judged valid by the Expert Panel. The QI set includes 9 QIs for newly diagnosed with SSc, 12 follow-up QIs for management of SSc, and 11 treatment QIs. The SCTC experts agreed with the validity of each of the 32 QI and agreed that for all but one QI the specified tests, procedures and treatments recommended in the QI were generally available.

Conclusions: We have developed 32 QIs for SSc using a rigorous methodology that can be employed to evaluate and improve care for patients with SSc, as well as inform policy decisions supporting appropriate care for SSc patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees / organization & administration*
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Policy Making*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / therapy*