Hospitals snowed under in quality control paperwork

Little girl in hospitalDutch hospitals are spending millions of euros a year on paperwork aimed at improving patient care but the information is often so unreliable that standards are suffering, broadcaster Nos says on Tuesday.

The broadcaster bases its claim on two reports by advice group KMPG: one carried out on behalf of the health ministry, the other for the Dutch hospitals association NVZ.

Doctors and nurses are now spending increasing amounts of time on paperwork and the situation has only become worse since early 2015 when health minister Edith Schippers launched a new transparency drive, Nos says.

Her aim is to give patients more insight into the quality of care they can expect.


However, hospitals are now involved in an average of 45 quality registration systems, 19 quality control labels and seven patient experience research projects, Nos says. Many of the projects use the same information.

KPMG has put the cost of the registration processes at between €40m and €82m a year. The margin is so wide because not all hospitals take part in the same projects.

‘This will only get worse unless action is taken,’ Margot van der Starre, director of the NVZ, told the broadcaster. ‘This money could be much better spent on patient care.’

Health minister Edith Schippers is due to discuss the findings with MPs on Wednesday.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation