The Netherlands have one of the lowest in-patient average length of stay in Europe for hospitalised people suffering from diseases of the circulatory system. Still, each year almost 40.000 deaths are registered due to cardiovascular diseases.1 To improve quality of care in Dutch hospitals, various cardiac networks have initiated the Dutch Heart Network. The network includes different disease specific groups such as the Atrium fibrillation network, Heart failure network and Coronary Disease network. Among these groups, the network increases collaboration of healthcare professionals and fosters exchange of best practice and mutual comparison between hospitals. While assessing care in participating hospitals on an ongoing basis, the goal is to continuously optimise the quality of care standards across the country and to define and coordinate care pathways for patients with heart disease.
For the definition of quality of care, the Network assesses scientific indicators in a patient-centric approach that provides both highest clinical and financial benefits. The network wants to promote care standards that are of demonstrably high value for patients with heart disease while lowering treatment costs in the long term. The quality model that assesses efficiency and efficacy within the relevant departments of Cardiology is thereby based on the value-based healthcare methodology developed by Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School. Because the Dutch Heart Network uses the methodology, the quality of care for the patient and the healthcare professional can be continuously optimised – at the benefit of patients, hospitals, and society as a whole.
1. Eurostat. Cardiovascular disease statistics 2016.