30 Development of quality indicators for UK palliative day services (QUALPALUK)

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Abstract

Introduction

Quality indicators are explicitly defined and measurable items that evaluate and describe healthcare (Campbell, 2002). They can provide care users, staff, providers, and purchasers with feedback in relation to the quality of care, sometimes against benchmarks or previous quality assessments. In addition, by providing a valid and reliable means of measuring quality of care, quality indicators (although not sufficient by themselves) can act as a starting point for quality improvement. There are currently no quality indicators designed to assess the quality of palliative day services (PDS).

Aim

To develop a set of quality indicators to appraise the care provided by PDS in the UK.

Methods

The RAND/UCLA appropriateness method was utilised. This multi-stage method combines best available evidence alongside expert consensus. The resultant draft set of indicators was tested for feasibility in 5 UK hospices. A parallel strategy of stakeholder engagement was implemented throughout the research lifecycle.

Results

The initial list of 185 candidate indicators identified by a systematic review was reduced to a final list of 30 core indicators, which were found to be appropriate and feasible.

Conclusions

This quality indicator set is the first to be produced for PDS, and is available for use by services. It represents a valuable, acceptable and feasible means to assess quality of care in PDS, and a means of identifying goals for quality improvement. Successful implementation of quality indicators in routine practice requires attention to a range of key enablers and barriers.

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