Table 5 Quality improvement (QI) strategies as applied in European hospitals: clinical and practice guidelines; total and per country*, numbers are positive responses in valid percentages (total item response in absolute numbers)
Specification of QI strategyTotalIrelandBelgiumFranceSpainPolandCzech Republic
Hospital-wide guidelines:
    Preoperative assessment74.8 (306)72.7 (22)90.5 (21)57.4 (47)71.4 (98)75.7 (70)88.2 (34)
    Use of antibiotics83.0 (311)63.6 (22)100 (22)88.2 (51)82.5 (97)92.9 (70)51.4 (35)
    Prophylactic use of antibiotics89.6 (309)66.7 (21)100 (22)94.1 (51)94.8 (97)91.4 (70)71.4 (35)
Standard operating procedures for various types of laboratories:
    Clinical chemistry93.5 (310)95.5 (22)100 (22)88.5 (52)94.7 (95)93.8 (65)89.5 (38)
    Pathology72.5 (265)95.7 (23)76.2 (21)71.0 (31)82.6 (92)46.0 (50)58.8 (34)
    Microbiology laboratory87.6 (298)95.2 (21)100 (22)89.8 (49)90.5 (95)85.9 (64)66.7 (33)
    Pharmacy86.9 (314)91.3 (23)86.4 (22)90.2 (61)92.7 (96)87.7 (65)59.4 (32)
    Diagnostic radiology89.0 (310)86.4 (22)100 (21)83.9 (56)92.6 (95)89.7 (68)79.4 (34)
Clinical guidelines for AMI: management of AMI patients86.7 (316)72.7 (22)95.8 (24)89.1 (46)89.3 (103)79.4 (68)86.8 (38)
Clinical guidelines for appendicitis:
    Management of suspected appendicitis54.3 (311)36.4 (22)47.8 (23)52.0 (50)49.5 (97)67.6 (71)51.4 (35)
    Wrong site, wrong surgery42.0 (307)68.2 (22)54.5 (22)47.9 (48)15.6 (96)57.7 (71)29.4 (34)
Clinical guidelines for obstetrics:
    Breech presentation71.5 (281)58.8 (17)81.8 (22)61.7 (47)60.8 (79)90.0 (70)59.4 (32)
    VBAC64.5 (293)35.3 (17)52.0 (25)64.6 (48)59.0 (83)83.3 (72)50.0 (34)
  • *The results for the UK and the Netherlands are included in the total but not listed separately, due to the very low response rates.

  • AMI, acute myocardial infarction; VBAC, vaginal birth after caesarean section.