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Deepening our Understanding of Quality Improvement in Europe

Recognizing the lack of comprehensive guidance for hospitals on the development of quality management systems triggered an initiative towards developing and validating a measurement instrument to assess those systems.

Therefore, the main goal of the DUQuE Project was to study the effectiveness of quality improvement systems in European hospitals. This was achieved by assessing the relationship between organisational quality improvement systems/management and culture, professionals’ involvement, and patient empowerment with the quality of hospital care, including clinical effectiveness, patient safety, and patient involvement.

A particular focus also addressed the role of external pressure and governance on the uptake of quality improvement strategies and outcomes.

DUQuE collected data from randomly selected European hospitals using a cross-sectional, observational study design. Data were collected at hospital, departmental, professional, and patient levels. Hospitals in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey were involved in the project.

The key outputs were scientific articles as well as the development of guidance for hospitals in form of an in-depth overview of the effectiveness of quality and safety strategies and how to integrate them into hospital procedures.

The DUQuE project was co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. It ran from November 2009 to August 2014 and involved leading European research organizations on quality improvement and patient safety research.

Website: www.duque.eu.