Are the Dutch long-term care organizations getting better? A trend study of quality indicators between 2007 and 2009 and the patterns of regional influences on performance

Int J Qual Health Care. 2013 Oct;25(5):505-14. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzt061. Epub 2013 Aug 20.


Objective: and setting The Dutch long-term care organizations, providing somatic care, psycho-geriatric care and home care, have to measure the quality of care through client-related and professional indicators since 2007. At the same time, competition was introduced with regional stimuli from healthcare insurers. The first aim of this study is to determine the trends of the national performance on client-related and professional quality indicators for the period 2007-09 in long-term care organizations in the Netherlands. The second aim is to determine the influence of the region on the quality performance in 2009.

Design and participants: We performed trend analyses on the indicators of clients of 2115 long-term care organizations. We used multivariate analyses to determine the difference in national performance between 2007 and 2009 and to calculate the influence of the region on the performance of 2009.

Intervention: None.

Main outcome measures: Client-related and professional indicators.

Results: The national performance on client-related indicators for somatic care and home care increased and for psycho-geriatric care the quality performance became worse. The professional indicators for intramural care improved between 2007 and 2009. Region influences the performance. In general, organizations in the west of the Netherlands performed worse than other regions (with exception of home care).

Conclusions: The study suggests that working with quality indicators in long-term care organizations for older people may lead to a better performance on several indicators. The influence of the region on the quality is significant, which could be caused by Dutch healthcare insurers.

Keywords: quality indicators; quality management; quality measurement.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Health Services for the Aged / organization & administration
  • Health Services for the Aged / standards
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / organization & administration
  • Insurance, Health / standards
  • Long-Term Care / organization & administration
  • Long-Term Care / standards*
  • Long-Term Care / trends
  • Netherlands
  • Quality Improvement / standards
  • Quality Improvement / trends*
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Quality of Health Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care / trends