This 3 year project is designed to involve large numbers of doctors together with their national and international associations in the AIM programme - via a project designed to established and circulate (in a multi-media package and telematics product) measures and criteria for assessing health care quality in a defined area of medicine. The area proposed concerns several aspects of gastroenterology. It is emphasised that this is seen as a template to enable the rapid achievement of similar goals in other areas of medicine in future.
Criteria for health care assessment (including minimum datasets of clinical information and measures for assessing structure process and outcome of care) will be established by wide consultation involving not less than 60 discipline experts, and 6 national societies, along with health care assessment experts.
Consensus agreements will be translated into a telematics product setting out the results of this discussion. Liaison with industrial sponsors will assist in defining Critical Success Factors for data protection, Hospital Information Systems integration etc. The product will be written under MS DOS and QBASIC - deliberately simple to encourage wide subsequent distribution. The product will be modified in the light of an iterative process, and finalised for eventual wide distribution in conjunction with industrial sponsors.
Key issues are: involvement of large numbers of doctors, production of telematics products to industrial standards, integration with other systems, careful monitoring, assured wide distribution.
Relationship to Previous Work
Relationship to other work is assured via (clinical) liaison under the aegis of the World Organisation of Gastroenterology, and (technical) co-operation of industrial sponsors.
Expected Impact is envisaged on at least two levels. First, current experience indicates that the product itself should assist in improving standards of care. Second, involvement of large numbers of doctors should give AIM visibility it has previously lacked.
Relationship to Other Projects
The project relates to others in the AIM programme in several domains (e.g. quality assurance and gastroenterology). A number of approved projects have attempted to undertake similar tasks but in a different fashion. It is believed some of these would benefit from adopting the approach outlined above and it may be possible to liaise with them during the project lifetime.
Test-bed and Verification
The test-bed for the project will involve most of the EC countries in three ways. Via the National societies (Light evaluation). Via individuals in existing networks (Moderate evaluation). Via closely monitored installation in specific institutions (Heavy evaluation). The assessment will be carried out by an international evaluation panel drawn from clinicians, health care assessment experts, and technical experts.
Co-operation with other AIM projects will be encouraged, especially with projects such as Project No A2016 (IDMR) concerning Jaundice (co-operation already assured).
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