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Quality & patient safety

Healthcare implies working with people. Our patients are counting on good and safe care. Through research and experiences in the field we improve our care proactively and learn about care that did not go quite as we had intended. If an incident or major incident occurs, we investigate thoroughly what factors contributed to the fact that something did not go according to plan. We also look at how we can prevent this from happening again in the future, and work actively on improvements

Testing, improving, and guaranteeing the quality of healthcare

2023 we continued to build on our Quality Cooperation method. We started in 2022 with this approach of testing, improving, and guaranteeing quality. With Quality Cooperation, we continue to build on the solid foundation that we have developed in the past fifteen years. In the same period, three external assessments were made by Joint Commission International (JCI) , of which the last was in 2019. Our new method brings us closer in line with patients’ experiences and our healthcare professionals’ intrinsic motivation to improve. After all, they know better than anyone where there is still room for improvement in healthcare. Quality Cooperation is based on five pillars, whereby we move from monitoring to trust.

In 2023 we went further to draw up a department-specific quality agenda with all departments. We are finalizing these in 2024. These agendas incorporate the national improvement goals of the Dutch Inspection for Healthcare and Youth (IGJ), our own priorities as UMC Utrecht, and improvement goals specific to each department.

In 2023 we also continued to work in the scope of NFU on the pillar ‘Horizontal learning’ as a quality instrument. We exchanged best practices internally, with other UMCs, and/or with other professional sectors. Lastly, in 2023 we once again received certification for the NEN8009:2018 standard. With this certification we show that we meet the requirements for a safety-management system.

Adrienne Cullen lecture: learning from mistakes

The annual Adrienne Cullen lecture plays an important role in making it possible to talk about and learn from things that went wrong. We thus avoid making the same kind of mistake again, and patients feel that they are supported. The lecture can be watched online with Dutch subtitles as well as live English interpretation and English subtitles. The lecture is named after Ms Adrienne Cullen who contracted terminal uterus cancer due to a medical error at UMC Utrecht. The fourth Adrienne Cullen lecture took place on Friday, March 10, 2023. It focused on the experience of a family member of a patient with regard to our communication.

Discharge communication further improved

In 2023 we continued to improve our discharge communication. Our ambition is to send a discharge report to the general practitioner/referrer within 24 hours for 90% of all transfers to the patient’s home. We thereby guarantee care continuity, also after a patient has left UMC Utrecht. In 2023, we sent 73% of all discharge letters on time (62% in 2022).