The importance of sharing knowledge through published works is vital in every scientific field, but it may be especially significant in healthcare. The timely dissemination of healthcare information can help reduce suffering and save lives by accelerating the spread of important innovations as well as by preventing the duplication of mistakes. Standardizing the reporting of this information helps ensure that the same kinds of information are included in study reports, making comparisons and metaanalyses more meaningful.
What are the SQUIRE guidelines?
To help standardize reporting methods for studies that assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve the quality and safety of care, a task force of physicians and other medical professionals has created a 19-item checklist for authors to consult. While the authors of the SQUIRE guidelines acknowledge that “most of the items in the checklist are common to all scientific reporting,” they stress that “virtually all of them have been modified to reflect the unique nature of medical improvement work.”
Who should use the SQUIRE guidelines?
All authors who write about quality improvement in healthcare would benefit from following the SQUIRE guidelines to provide a framework for detailing the results of interventions. Many journals now require authors to submit completed SQUIRE checklists with their quality improvement manuscripts.
What are the specific suggestions?
The SQUIRE guidelines are posted online here. The items on the checklist detail the information that should be included in each section of the article: title and abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and other information such as funding sources.
How can I find out more?
The SQUIRE website includes links to the SQUIRE Explanation and Elaboration Document that provides examples and explanations of the items on the checklist. The SQUIRE group welcomes comments and questions.