Publication: Quality Standards for Allergen Immunotherapy Clinics in Spain: Consensus Document.
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Allergen immunotherapy clinics (AITCs) in Spain differ widely in terms of structure, organization, resources, and portfolio of services. Therefore, it is essential to unify treatment criteria and define quality standards for the most complex AITCs. Objective: To establish a series of recommendations that make it possible to guarantee quality and safety in the administration of immunotherapy and define quality standards for the most complex AITCs. This project began with an online survey of 65 allergy departments/units throughout Spain in 2013. Next, a 2-phase consensus process was carried out. In the first phase, 10 experts defined and agreed on the standards using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness method; in the second, the agreements were validated by means of a 2-round Delphi consultation with 84 experts. Consensus was reached on minimum safety and quality criteria in the administration of allergen immunotherapy, and 2 levels of highly complex AITCs were defined: accredited AITCs and accredited AITCs with excellence. Consensus was also reached on quality standards and accreditation criteria for both levels. This project is pioneering in terms of its purpose (the definition of quality standards for AITCs) and of the use of structured participation techniques (combination of the RAND/UCLA and Delphi methods). It enabled the design of minimum standards for quality and safety in administering AIT, as well as quality criteria for accreditation of AITCs supported by a broad panel of experts from the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology.
Allergens, Delphi, Health care quality assurance, Immunotherapy, RAND/UCLA