A systematic review of instruments that assess the implementation of hospital quality management systems

Oliver Groene*, Daan Botje, Rosa Suñol, Maria Andrée Lopez, Cordula Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. Health-care providers invest substantial resources to establish and implement hospital quality management systems. Nevertheless, few tools are available to assess implementation efforts and their effect on quality and safety outcomes. This review aims to (i) identify instruments to assess the implementation of hospital quality management systems, (ii) describe their measurement properties and (iii) assess the effects of quality management on quality improvement and quality of care outcomes. Data sources. We performed a systematic literature search from 1990 to 2011 in PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Web of Science. In addition, we used snowball strategies, screened the reference lists of eligible papers, reviewed grey literature and contacted experts in the field. Study selection and data extraction. Two reviewers screened eligible papers based on pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria and all authors extracted data. Eligible papers are described in terms of general characteristics (settings, type and level of respondents, mode of data collection), methodological properties (sampling strategy, item derivation, conceptualization of quality management, assessment of reliability and validity, scoring) and application/implementation (accounting for context, organizational adaptations, sensitivity to change, deployment and effect size). Results. Eighteen papers were deemed eligible for inclusion. While some common domains emerged in measurement conceptualization, substantial differences in scope persist. The instruments' measurement properties were insufficiently described and only few instruments assessed links between the implementation of quality management systems (QMS) and improvement strategies or outcomes. Conclusions. There is currently no well-established measure to assess the implementation and effectiveness of quality management systems. Future research should address this gap.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermzt058
Pages (from-to)525-541
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospital care
  • Quality management
  • Quality measurement
  • Setting of care


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