Quality indicators are systematically developed statements that can be used to assess the appropriateness of specific healthcare decisions, services and outcomes. In this review, the range and type of indicators that have been developed for children in the UK and USA by prominent governmental agencies and private organisations are highlighted. These indicators are classified in an effort to identify areas of child health that may lack quality measures. The current state of health information technology in both countries is reviewed, since these systems are vital to quality efforts. Finally, several recommendations are proposed to advance the quality indicator development agenda for children. The convergence of quality measurement and indicator development, a growing scientific evidence base and integrated information systems in healthcare may lead to substantial improvements for child health in the 21st century.
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