Roadmap for developing a national quality indicator set for general practice

Ailís Riain, Catherine Vahey, Conor Kennedy, Stephen Campbell, Claire Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe a national, comprehensive quality indicator set to support delivering high-quality clinical care in Irish general practice.

Design/methodology/approach – Potential general practice quality indicators were identified through a literature review. A modified two-stage Delphi process was used to rationalise international indicators into an indicator set, involving both experts from key stakeholder groups (general practitioners (GPs), practice nurses, practice managers, patient and health policy representatives) and predominantly randomly selected GPs. An illustrative evaluation approach was used to road test the indicator set and supporting materials.

Findings – In total, 80 panellists completed the two Delphi rounds and staff in 13 volunteer practices participated in the road test. The original 171 indicators was reduced to 147 during the Delphi process and further reduced to 68 indicators during the road test. The indicators were set out in 14 sub-domains across three areas (practice infrastructure, practice processes and procedures, and practice staff). Practice staff planned 77 quality improvement activities after their assessment against the indicators and 31 (40 per cent) were completed with 44 (57 per cent) ongoing and two (3 per cent) not advanced after a six-month road test. A General Practice Indicators of Quality indicator set and support materials were produced at the conclusion.

Practical implications – It is important and relatively easy to customise existing quality indicators to a particular setting. The development process can be used to raise awareness, build capacity and drive quality improvement activity in general practices.

Originality/value – The authors describe in detail a method to develop general practice quality indicators for a regional or national population from existing validated indicators using consensus, action research and an illuminative evaluation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-393
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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