'Quality indicators' are intended to render the quality of healthcare services measurable and transparent. The indicators are developed by the field itself. In each care sector, the Inspectorate works jointly with health care providers, insurers, and representative groups of patients as well as the disabled and elderly to produce appropriate indicator sets.
The quality indicator sets provide information to support patient choice. They also enable health care providers to derive the benefit of a good rating, or to improve the quality of their services. Health insurers can use the indicators to substantiate purchasing and contracting decisions. For its part, the Inspectorate uses the indicators to support a system of 'risk-based' supervision, since it is then able to identify areas in which potential risks to the quality of care exist.
The Visible Care Programme
The Minister of Health has appointed the Inspectorate to supervise the production of quality indicator sets, resulting in the 'Visible Care' programme. The website at www.zichtbarezorg.nl provides information about the care sectors in which quality indicators are already in place, and the progress of implementation in other sectors.
'Phased supervision' is a refined form of risk-based supervision based on quality indicators as well as other information about health care providers and health services.