Publication guidelines for quality improvement in health care: evolution of the SQUIRE project
- 1Institute for Healthcare Improvement, New Hampshire, USA
- 2Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Center for Leadership and Improvement, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
- Dr F Davidoff, 143 Garden Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109, USA;
- Accepted 1 August 2008
In 2005, draft guidelines were published for reporting studies of quality improvement interventions as the initial step in a consensus process for development of a more definitive version. This article contains the full revised version of the guidelines, which the authors refer to as SQUIRE (Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence). This paper also describes the consensus process, which included informal feedback from authors, editors and peer reviewers who used the guidelines; formal written commentaries; input from a group of publication guideline developers; ongoing review of the literature on the epistemology of improvement and methods for evaluating complex social programmes; a two-day meeting of stakeholders for critical discussion and debate of the guidelines’ content and wording; and commentary on sequential versions of the guidelines from an expert consultant group. Finally, the authors consider the major differences between SQUIRE and the initial draft guidelines; limitations of and unresolved questions about SQUIRE; ancillary supporting documents and alternative versions that are under development; and plans for dissemination, testing and further development of SQUIRE.
Funding: The SQUIRE project was supported in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF grant number 58073).
Competing interests: FD is editor emeritus of Annals of Internal Medicine and serves currently as executive editor for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. PB is director of the Center for Leadership and Improvement at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA; DS formerly served as vice president for healthcare improvement and director of the Institute for Improving Clinical Care within the Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC, USA; he is currently director of the Quality Literature Program at the Center for Leadership and Improvement at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; he is also editor of the journal Quality and Safety in Health Care. GO is associate director of the Quality Literature Program in the Center for Leadership and Improvement at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and director of the Office of Research and Innovation at Medical Education at Dartmouth Medical School; he is also on the clinical staff of the White River Junction Veterans Administration Hospital, White River Junction, Vermont, USA. SM is medical director for quality improvement at the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, Lebanon, New Hampshire, and a member of the staff of the Center for Leadership and Improvement in the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, New Hampshire, USA.
Some of the work reported in this paper was done at the SQUIRE Advisory Committee Meeting, 3–5 April 2007, which was supported in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF grant number 58073).