Dutch hospitals to publish mortality rates
Residents of the Netherlands will be able to compare the mortality rates of hospitals as of mid-2010.The Netherlands – The association of Dutch hospitals have finally agreed to publish the mortality rates of their patients after years of lobbying from patients' interest groups, doctors, the media and the Dutch lower house,
Director of the Netherlands' Hospitals Association (NVZ), Gita Gallé, said in the daily Nederlands Dagblad that the decision was prompted by "the explicit wish of society to be able to consult those figures".
Currently, records of the number of people dying in hospitals are kept private as the association does not want people to draw the wrong conclusions from the figures.
A spokesperson for the association explained one hospital may have a higher mortality rate than another because "the first hospital is accepting more older patients, or is carrying out more complicated operations".
The figures, which will be made public from mid-2010, will present the number of patients dying in hospital in relation to the total number of admissions.
The launch of a new registering system in 2011 will also include other factors such as comparing hospital mortality to average mortality for given age ranges and types of disease.
More details will be released on Friday.
Health Minister Ab Klink is quoted in the press as applauding the plan. Patients' interest groups, doctors, the media and the Dutch lower house have been urging publication of the figures for years.
In other countries it is customary for patients to be able to compare hospital mortality rates. This also helped to encourage many hospitals with initial poor scores to improve their performance and reduce mortality rates.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica