Radboud hospital online with cancer survival rates
The Nijmegen hospital UMC St Radboud is the first hospital to publish survival rates for lung cancer and gynecological cancer, starting Thursday.From now on the hospital will keep track, online, of how many people are hospitalized yearly with these types of cancer and the survival percentage. It's not possible to publish the results of all the different types of cancer, because there are so many. Therefore, only the data for those cancers where the groups of patients are large enough, are made public.
The hospital wants to be transparent about the outcomes of care and hopes other hospitals will follow in its footsteps, according to a hospital representative. Chairman Melvin Samsom calls it 'the next step in health care', Thursday in de Volkskrant.
In our hospital we see the patient more and more as part of the treatment team. We want him to make choices about his treatment together with his physicians. But if you view him like that, you should also inform him in detail.
Health Minister Edith Schippers (VVD) wants to make it a requirement for hospitals to publish their mortality rate. Most hospitals already do, but usually it is the total death rate. There are no regulations on how hospitals should publish the data, which makes it hard to compare them.
Comprehensive Cancer Centre the Netherlands (IKNL) calls the endeavor progressive. The IKNL collects and processes the treatment data of all Dutch hospitals to determine the national average. The hospitals have thus far always kept the statistics indoors.
UMC St. Radboud breaks that tradition. It compares its treatment rates with the national average on the website. In general, their numbers don't deviate much.
The patients federation NPCF thinks it's a step in the right direction and hopes many hospitals will follow. Good information can be of vital importance, says the organization.
Hospitals are very reluctant to disclose their own treatment and mortality rates. Last year the heart centers of the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven and the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein were the first to publish the results of percutaneous angioplasty and bypass operations they performed.