A debate on the application of quality indicators (QIs) arose among the members of the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians (DEGAM) when two QI systems for ambulatory care (QISA and AQUIK) were published in a short time interval. A research question that emanated from this discussion was whether appropriate QI might be developed based on German general practice guidelines. In spring 2010, the DEGAM guideline committee (SLK) decided to conduct a project on guideline-based development of QIs using the DEGAM guidelines for dementia, neck pain and sore throat. All members of the SLK were invited to participate in the development process which comprised three face-to-face meetings and four paper-pencil ratings. Finally, 17 QIs for the three guidelines on dementia (n=8), neck pain (n=7) and sore throat (n=2) emerged. These QIs received different ratings in the dimensions relevance, practicability, and appropriateness for public reporting as well as for pay for performance. In this project, guideline authors themselves developed QIs based on German general practice guidelines for the first time ever. Not before practice administration systems facilitate the availability of data in the context of clinical documentation, the practicability of the new QIs can be proven in real every-day practice.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier GmbH.