Background Cardiac rehabilitation improves quality of life and mortality in patients with ischemic heart disease, but it is underutilised and quality in practice is unknown. Quality indicators are increasingly used to quantify healthcare quality. In Japan, however, such indicators for cardiac rehabilitation have not been developed yet.
Objectives The purpose of this study was to develop quality indicators considering clinical circumstances in Japan.
Methods To determine quality indicator candidates, we systematically searched electronic databases and reviewed existing related guidelines indicators. Using a modified Delphi technique, a domestic multidisciplinary panel of ten experts was assembled for a face-to-face meeting. After panel members rated the candidates individually on a questionnaire, a final consensus was determined for each measure.
Results A literature search identified 894 clinical guidelines and 38 existing quality indicators. Some of them were excluded due to inconsistency with a priori criteria. Then, 26 guidelines and 16 indicators were selected to create a list of indicator candidates. The panel discussed 27 candidates: six indicators were adopted, one indicator was not adopted, 20 indicators were reconstituted into four indicators, and three new additional indicators were suggested. Consequently, 13 indicators were chosen.
Discussion Guideline-based quality indicator development may be time-efficient and resource saving, but further methodology research is needed. We are planning a pilot test of these indicators at multiple facilities.
Implications for Guideline Developers/Users Guideline developers should take potential use as quality indicators into account for making recommendations.
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