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UK Quality Indicator Project® (UK QIP) and the UK independent health care sector: A new development

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Richard Thomson, Dr Joanne LallyORCiD


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Purpose. To describe implementation of the UK Quality Indicator Project®(UK QIP) in the independent health care sector, drawing upon 10 years experience in the UK and approaching 20 years experience in the USA. We describe the history of the project, with an emphasis on recent developments, reflecting upon the critical features of the project and its value for participants. Background. The International Quality Indicator Project® is the largest international data set of quality indicators. It provides participants with quarterly feedback of comparative indicator data and support for effective use of these data within the participants' own quality improvement programmes. The UK QIP now includes about two-thirds of UK private sector acute hospitals. The UK QIP began as a pilot project in the National Health Service (NHS) public sector in 1991. Implementation of the NHS performance assessment framework, and associated indicator programme, led to a reduction in public sector involvement. In contrast, the private sector, led by the Independent Healthcare Association, sought to identify a provider of key performance indicators to support both internal, within-sector drives for quality improvement and external demands produced by governmental review and the introduction of the National Care Standards Commission. The UK QIP was chosen since it provided a validated, epidemiologically sound system with capacity for support, education and flexibility to meet the changing demands of the sector. The future development of the QIP within the sector, including expansion from acute hospitals to mental health, is described. Conclusions. Reflection on the process of engagement of the UK independent sector with the QIP emphasizes the generic nature of the project and offers insights into the value of the project. Future challenges, including the issue of public accountability, are discussed in light of the project's underlying philosophy and purpose. © International Society for Quality in Health Care and Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thomson R, Taber S, Lally J, Kazandjian V

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal for Quality in Health Care

Year: 2004

Volume: 16

Issue: 1

Pages: i51-i56

Print publication date: 01/01/2004

ISSN (print): 1353-4505

ISSN (electronic): 1464-3677


DOI: 10.1093/intqhc/mzh011

PubMed id: 15059987