Objectives To evaluate the performance of a healthcare programme in early spondyloarthritis (SpA).
Methods Based on previous analyses and expectations of a nominal group, the following were set: (1) minimum standards to create early SpA units; (2) standard operating procedures; and (3) eight performance indicators that can be measured in real time using a web-based platform.
Results At the end of the evaluation of the programme the expected level of performance was achieved in three of the indicators: ‘referral reliability’ (standard (S) >50%, real value (RV) 92%), ‘accessibility’ (S >90%, RV=91%) and ‘duration of first visit’ (S >50%, RV=53%). The performance in the remaining indicators was inferior: ‘success of referral criteria’ (S >50%, RV=28%), ‘clinical reports issued’ (S >90%, RV=25%), ‘feedback guarantee’ (S >85%, RV=2%), ‘missing data’ (S <10%, RV=24%) and ‘frequency of review’ (S >90%, RV=84%). Explanations for the low performance are provided.
Conclusions It is possible to implement a large-scale programme that is measurable.
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Funding Pfizer (previously Wyeth) sponsored the Spanish Foundation of Rheumatology to run the Program Esperanza. The sponsor had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication. Researchers were independent from funders. This work was partially supported by RETICS Program, RD08/0075 (RIER) from Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), within the VI PN de I+D+I 2008-2011 (FEDER).
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the CEIC Hospital Universitario Reína Sofía, Córdoba.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.