Testing the Integrative Quality Care Assessment Tool (INQUAT): Comparing US and Italian Managers' Perceptions of Quality

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PURPOSE: Identifying the factors that contribute or hinder the provision of good quality care within healthcare institutions, from the managers' perspective, is important for the success of quality improvement initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to test the Integrative Quality Care Assessment Tool (INQUAT) that was previously developed with a sample of healthcare managers in the USA.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Written narratives of 69 good and poor quality care episodes were collected from 37 managers in Italy. A quantitative content analysis was conducted using the INQUAT coding scheme, to compare the results of the US-based study to the new Italian sample.

FINDINGS: The core frame of the INQUAT was replicated and the meta-categories showed similar distributions compared to the US data. Structure (i.e. organizational, staff and facility resources) covered 8 percent of all the coded units related to quality aspects; context (i.e. clinical factors and patient factors) 10 percent; process (i.e. communication, professional diligence, timeliness, errors and continuity of care) 49 percent; and outcome (i.e. process- and short-term outcomes) 32 percent. However, compared to the US results, Italian managers attributed more importance to different categories' subcomponents, possibly due to the specificity of each sample. For example, professional diligence, errors and continuity of care acquired more weight, to the detriment of communication. Furthermore, the data showed that process subcomponents were associated to perceived quality more than outcomes.

RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: The major limitation of this investigation was the small sample size. Further studies are needed to test the reliability and validity of the INQUAT.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The INQUAT is proposed as a tool to systematically conduct in depth analyses of successful and unsuccessful healthcare events, allowing to better understand the factors that contribute to good quality and to identify specific areas that may need to be targeted in quality improvement initiatives.


PMID: 31940150




Emerald Publishing Limited

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International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance