[Indicators for quality evaluation of inpatient patient care in an ENT clinic].HNO. 1998 Oct; 46(10):864-9.HNO
According to the law (Section 137 SGBV) in Germany, hospitals have to implement quality-assurance (QA) programs, which are now of particular importance in times of ongoing structural change in health care. External as well as internal methods of QA are well established and can serve as parameters for single processes and outcomes in most cases. However, there is still an urgent need for methods measuring the quality of total hospital performance. Indicators are powerful instruments for this purpose. They reliably reflect clinical outcome, physicians' and nurses' activities, administration and can be regarded as instruments for general hospital performance in otorhinolaryngology. We describe the process of definition, development and application of quality indicators for measuring quality in health care. Furthermore, we present a critical overview of selected indicators in otorhinolaryngology, general medical indicators and indicators concerning administrative problems. Because of current developments in German health care the application of quality assurance methods similar to the system of indicators presented is strongly recommended.