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What are the requirements for participating in QUIPS?
Hospitals of any size and of any variety of surgery can take part in the QUIPS project.
As pain therapy is an interdisciplinary task, you should build a team consisting of staff from anesthesia, surgery and nursing. An existing acute pain task force would be helpful. Technical requirements are low. You only need a normal computer with internet access.

Will my data be treated as confidential?
The data collection includes demografic parameters of the patient which allow an identification within your hospital during the input of data. But once the data are transfered to the central benchmark server, all data are anonymized.
In the webbased feedback, only your own wards are colored and identifiable. All other wards are anonymized and show you your position amongst all participating sites.

What are the staff requirements for participating in QUIPS?
Your staff requirements depend on the amount of data you want to collect. The more patients you question, the more reliable are your feedback results. Questioning five patients per day per ward would need about 50 minutes. In doing so, you would get 100 data sets for the outcome parameters per quarter. Optionally, additional process parameters could be collected for a further analysis of deficits. For this, another 10 minutes per patient should be taken into account. The person who collects the data should not be a member of the normal ward team in order to ensure objectivity.

My staff resources are limited. Which proceeding do you recommend?
In case of limited staff resources, you should choose a random sample out of the group of patients that fulfill the criteria for being questioned. Detailed information on how to do such a random sample can be found in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) you get after you registered for QUIPS.
Additionally, you should concentrate on collecting outcome parameters in order to identify deficient areas. For these specific areas, you can collect the process parameters later on so that strategies for improvement can be developed.

Should I collect only the outcome parameters or also the process parameters?
You can give a reliable quality assessment of your postoperative pain therapy if you collect the outcome parameters. On the QUIPS website, the different wards of your hospital can be compared and their ongoing performance can be seen (= internal benchmarking). You can also compare your results with other hospitals (= external benchmarking). Therefore, the outcome parameters show the performance of your different operative wards. But the outcome parameters are not sufficient for a specific analysis of deficits. This means that if one of your wards performs below average, you cannot analyze the reasons for this. If you want to know why certain wards are better or worse than others, you will need the process parameters, too.

When and where does the questioning take place?
If possible, the questioning of patients should take place on the first postoperative day and on the normal surgery ward. As the standardized data collection is essential for the quality of data, and in order to avoid systematical biases, the third postoperative day is the ultimate deadline for any questionings.

What is the minimum number of data sets to be collected?
For a reliable feedback of results, we recommend to collect at least 30 to 50 data sets per ward per quarter.
If less than 20 data sets per ward per quarter are collected, no reliable statements concerning the outcome quality are possible and therefore no statistical evaluation and presentation of data is done on the benchmark website.

How long do I have to collect data?
Our project's objective is an improvement of the postoperative monitoring of symptoms and of the pain treatment quality outcome by collecting outcome parameters and - optionally - process parameters on a regular basis, analyzing them and sending an immediate feedback to participating hospitals. The effect of correctives can only be evaluated if the data collection is done continuously.

What is the earliest possible date our hospital can expect results?
The feedback for your patient questioning is done via this website (after you registered for QUIPS, you will get an access to the benchmark server).
As the data sets are updated once a week, you will get a prompt webbased feedback for your input of data (at least 30 data sets per quarter per ward!).


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