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A Delphi study to identify performance indicators for emergency medicine
  1. E Beattie1,
  2. K Mackway-Jones2
  1. 1Accident and Emergency Department, St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Miss E Beattie
 Accident and Emergency Department, Ealing Hospital, Uxbridge, Southall, Middlesex UB1 3HW, UK;


Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify performance indicators thought to reflect the quality of patient care in the emergency department.

Methods: A three round accelerated Expert Delphi study was conducted by email or fax. A panel of 33 experts drawn from the fields of emergency medicine, emergency nursing, professional service users, and patients were consulted. Participants were initially asked to propose performance indicators that reflected the quality of care given in the emergency department setting in the United Kingdom. In the second round these proposals were collated and scored using a 9 point Likert scale; those that had not reached consensus were returned for reconsideration in the light of group opinion. Those statements reaching a pre-defined consensus were identified.

Results: 224 performance indicators were proposed. Altogether 36 indicators reached consensus reflecting good departmental performance after round three; 24 of these were process measures.

Conclusions: 36 potential indicators of good quality of care in the emergency department in the UK have been identified.

  • performance indicator
  • Delphi study

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  • Funding: this research was funded by a research grant from the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

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