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Table 2 General structure of an indicator

From: Development of quality of care indicators from systematic reviews: the case of hospital delivery

Element Description Source of information
a. Title Brief statement of what is to be assessed Research team
b. Type of Indicator • Process indicator Clinical recommendation based on SR
• Specific indicator of general or medical condition
• Indicator of desirable or undesirable events
• Indicator based on proportions or means
c. Definitions 1. Clinical recommendation (PICO format): Clinical situation, population, intervention, comparison and main outcomes Clinical recommendation based on SR, ICD-9-CM
• Operational definition of clinical terms in the research question
• Definition of contraindications to treatment (if necessary)
• Description of the diagnostic and procedure codes ICD-9-CM for the identification of the population
d. Target population Definition of the target population Clinical recommendation based on SR
e. Rationale • Impact of the clinical condition of interest SR, CPG
• Brief description of the selected SR
• Summary of the main benefits and/or harms associated with the intervention
• Support of the recommendation by main clinical practice guidelines (CPG)
f. Supporting literature Main bibliography that supports the indicator (SR and CPG) SR, CPG
g. Description of indicator population Operational definition of the indicator (formula) Clinical recommendation based on SR, clinical experts
• Numerator / denominator
• Exclusion criteria
h. Sources of information Description of the sources of information to compute the indicator: Clinical experts
• Administrative databases (mainly from inpatient and surgical area)
• Clinical documentation (medical history)
• Other (survey, etc.)
i. Standard Definition of the standard: Clinical recommendation based on SR
• Desirable event (↑)
• Undesirable event (↓)
j. Underlying factors • Factors related to the target population SR, CPG, Clinical experts
• Factors related to professionals
• Factors related to the hospital
k. Notes Other aspects that complement the information summarized by the indicator. Clinical experts
l. Desired characteristics of a hospital to ensure the viability of the indicator • Essential features (associated with the identification of the denominator and the numerator) Clinical experts
  • Desirable features (associated with an acceptable time investment to measure it)