Quality indicators (QIs) are increasingly being used to measure and improve the quality of cardiac care. We conducted an international environmental scan to identify and critically appraise published QI development initiatives addressing cardiovascular disease (CVD). A review of the peer-reviewed and grey English-language literature was conducted to identify published CVD QI development initiatives. The quality of identified studies was assessed using a modified version of the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II QI tool-an instrument originally developed for the assessment of the quality of clinical practice guidelines. An initial literature search identified 2314 potentially relevant abstracts of peer-reviewed articles. After a review of the abstracts, 120 full text articles were retrieved and reviewed. Of these, 20 articles and 1 peer-reviewed monograph were selected for critical appraisal (n = 21). Most of the initiatives were conducted in North America (76%) and were published after 2005 (62%). The majority (5 of 6) of the AGREE II QI domain scores were skewed toward higher values, including the median score for the 'overall quality' rating (83.3%). Of the CVD categories addressed within the 21 initiatives, heart failure was the most common (n = 10 QI indicator sets), followed by acute coronary syndromes (n = 8). Considerable variation was observed in the methods utilized and the degree of scientific rigour applied in the published international CVD QI development initiatives. Adoption of standardized methods could help improve the quality of QI development initiatives.
Copyright © 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.