Background The interest in clinical excellence is steadily increasing in rheumatology. For this purpose, routine audit and feedback on provided care is needed to improve the quality of that care. Quality indicators are excellent tool to measure our performance if they are feasible for use in routine practice.
Objective To describe published quality indicators in rheumatology.
Methods A literature review was performed.
Results During the last 10 years, the number of publications on quality indicators in rheumatology is not excessive. Quality indicators have been developed for different rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondyloarthritis or lupus. Most of them were generated through systematic literature reviews and experts opinions. Not all included patients or health care policy makers. Although they cover different aspects of clinical performance like structure (as patient information, number of rheumatologists, calculation of composite scores) or outcomes (patients and professionals satisfaction, effect of treatment on disease activity) most of them are focused on processes (as the access of care, assessments, or pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments). However, there is a lack of studies reporting the implementation of quality indicators. As it has been described with standards of care, several barriers might explain this situation including the lack of knowledge and clinical excellence culture, personal disagreement with quality indicators, lack of motivation, of time and lack of support by health care providers, organizations and governments.
Conclusions More efforts should be considered to develop and implement quality indicators in routine clinical care.
Disclosure of Interest None declared