Practice guidelines in pediatric hematooncology: Implementation and survey. A possible way for medical quality assurance

Zsolt Pásztélyi, Dezsö Schuler, Éva Czvenits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The Hungarian Pediatric Oncology Working Group intended to change the practice of prescribing diagnostic tests as well as to examine the possibility of introducing indicators about the time factors of medical care. A nationwide accepted protocol was established for these tests. The examined time factors were the length of elapsed time from admittance to treatment and the length of hospital stay for different reasons (diagnosis, treatment, complications). Included into this study are the new cases of 5 common groups of malignancies (acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, osteosarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma, Wilms tumor, neuroblastoma) for a study, period of 1 year. The follow-up data of 152 patients were examined; the length of survey was 1-12 months, depending on when the patients entered the study. As a continuous clinical audit, a system of survey was set up for each follow-up test, using a questionnaire about the conformity of physicians to the protocol, evaluating the principal reasons of deviation from the protocol. Using the data provided by this questionnaire, a renewal of the protocols for each disease was made three times during the whole study period. The principal reasons of nonconformity to the protocol were (1) complications, (2) the nonuse of the protocol, (3) nonacceptance of the protocol, and (4) technical problems. The authors intended to use their time indicators for benchmarking, to make a comparison possible between centers concerning the length of treatment, occurrence of complications, and delays in chemotherapy. However, the examination of the time indicators in the most frequent disease (acute lymphoblastic leukemia, n = 73) showed inverse correlation between the number of admissions per year per center and the length of time elapsed up to the beginning of treatment. This points to a need for better cooperation in small centers at the initial phase of the diagnosis. The main result of this study is the successful elaboration and implementation of practice guidelines by information linked to performance (the feedback) in daily practice: Compliance during the first 3 months of the study was 28%, and compliance during the last 3 months was 61%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-685
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric hematology and oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Implementation
  • Indicators of care
  • Practice guidelines
  • Process evaluation
  • Quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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