Article Abstract

Lessons learned from the Dutch Institute for Clinical Auditing: the Dutch model for quality assurance in lung cancer treatment

Authors: Naomi Beck, Fieke Hoeijmakers, Erwin M. Wiegman, Hans J. M. Smit, Franz M. Schramel, Willem H. Steup, Ad F. T. M. Verhagen, Wilhelmina H. Schreurs, Michel W. J. M. Wouters

Abstract

Background: Quality registries play an important role in the professional quality system for cancer treatment in The Netherlands. This article provides insight into the Dutch Lung Cancer Audit (DLCA); its core principles, initiation and development, first results and what lessons can be learned from the Dutch experience.
Methods: Cornerstones of the DLCA are discussed in detail, including: audit aims; the leading role for clinicians; web-based registration and feedback; data handling; multidisciplinary evaluation of quality indicators; close collaborations with all stakeholders in healthcare and transparency of results.
Results: In 2012 the first Dutch lung cancer specific sub-registry, focusing on surgical treatment was started. Since 2016 all major treating specialisms (lung oncologists, radiation-oncologists, general- and cardiothoracic surgeons—represented in the DLCA-L, -R and -S sub-registries respectively) have joined. Over time, the number of participating hospitals and included patients has increased. In 2016, the numbers of included patients with a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were 3,502 (DLCA-L), 2,427 (DLCA-R) and 1,979 (DLCA-S). Between sub-registries mean age varied from 66 to 70 years, occurrence of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance score 2+ varied from 3.3% to 20.8% and occurrence of clinical stage I–II from 27.6% to 81.3%. Of all patients receiving chemoradiotherapy 64.2% was delivered concurrently. Of the surgical procedures 71.2% was started with a minimally invasive technique, with a conversion rate of 18.7%. In 2016 there were 17 publicly available quality indicators—consisting of structure, process and outcome indicators- calculated from the DLCA.
Conclusions: the DLCA is a unique registry to evaluate the quality of multidisciplinary lung cancer care. It is accepted and implemented on a nationwide level, enabling participating healthcare providers to get insight in their performance, and providing other stakeholders with a transparent evaluation of this performance, all aiming for continuous healthcare improvement.

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