Background: In the last decade assessing the quality of healthcare has become increasingly important across the world. Switzerland lacks a detailed overview of how quality management is implemented and of its effects on medical procedures and patients' concerns. This study aimed to examine the systematics of quality management in Switzerland by assessing the providers and collected parameters of current quality initiatives.
Methods: In summer 2011 we contacted all of the medical societies in Switzerland, the Federal Office of Public Health, the Swiss Medical Association (FMH) and the head of Swiss medical insurance providers, to obtain detailed information on current quality initiatives. All quality initiatives featuring standardised parameter assessment were included.
Results: Of the current 45 initiatives, 19 were powered by medical societies, five by hospitals, 11 by non-medical societies, two by the government, two by insurance companies or related institutions and six by unspecified institutions. In all, 24 medical registers, five seals of quality, five circles of quality, two self-assessment tools, seven superior entities, one checklist and one combined project existed. The cost of treatment was evaluated by four initiatives. A data report was released by 24 quality initiatives.
Conclusions: The wide variety and the large number of 45 recorded quality initiatives provides a promising basis for effective healthcare quality management in Switzerland. However, an independent national supervisory authority should be appointed to provide an effective review of all quality initiatives and their transparency and coordination.