Id 911 Validating A Quality Improvement Tool For Use In Irish General Practice

Vahey C, ni Riain A, Kennedy C, Collins C
Aim(s) or purpose: In 2007 the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) developed quality indicators for use in Irish general practice, the General Practice Indicators of Quality (GP-IQ). The GP-IQ contained almost 150 indicators across fifteen areas of care, mainly focusing on practice management and organisational issues. The aim of this study is to validate the GP-IQ as a self-assessment quality improvement tool. Thirteen representative practices trialled the GP-IQ to yield evidence regarding its effectiveness in measuring and improving the quality of care for patients.
Design and method: Participating practices completed all aspects of the GP-IQ over a six month period, namely, rating themselves against the indicators, developing a quality improvement plan based on the ratings and making the identified improvements. Project leaders were identified in each practice to co-ordinate the work and involve all staff. Feedback was obtained from the practices via surveys, interviews with project leaders, informal telephone conversations and via a focus group.
Results: Practices reported that the GP-IQ was able to identify and focus them on aspects of care in need of improvement. An average of six quality improvements was made per practice. The vast majority of staff (84 %) agreed that it had been a positive initiative that had impacted positively both on patients and staff. Practices felt that the GP-IQ was less well able to measure quality and recommended the inclusion of external assessment. The biggest challenge of completing the GP-IQ was the time it required.
Conclusions: The GP-IQ has validity as a quality improvement tool, however, for accurate measurement there is a need to include an external assessor to oversee and review the practice self-assessment process. To ensure the GP-IQ’s usability, its current format is being revised in line with recommendations from the pilot practices. Particular consideration is being given to the time required to implement it effectively.
ID 911
Validating a quality improvement tool for use in Irish general practice