Background and aim: Joint replacement is an established therapy for arthrosis. The quality index for joint replacement (knee and hip) should include screening for quality of patient-centred care in hospitals providing replacements, on the basis of administrative data. The quality index summarizes 16 inpatient and posthospital complications (indicators). The aim of the study was to evaluate this quality index from the medical practitioner's viewpoint.
Methods: Four semistructured focus groups with 11 family physicians and 8 orthopaedic/trauma surgeons were conducted. The discussions were recorded, transcribed and analysed qualitatively according to Mayring.
Results: Infections and the revision of a total joint arthroplasty have been weighted as the most important indicators from the existing quality indicators. Between the participants some differences regarding the relevance of the indicators thrombosis and pulmonary embolism occurred. These indicators were weighted as more important by family physicians than orthopedic/trauma surgeons. For eight of the indicators, imprecision in words/meaning was criticized. In an open-ended second section, 20 new indicators within the areas complications, management and overall sector communication were identified.
Conclusion: Major amendments of the quality index for the joint replacement are necessary. The knowledge gained from this study may serve as a basis for this development.