After systematically developing the CQ-index in the last few years to measure the quality of care from the patient’s perspective, a number of questionnaires have been developed for specific conditions and sectors. An important element of this CQ-index system is asking precisely what patients or clients consider to be important. NIVEL will continue to develop this system, and secondary analyses of the data will be carried out to provide an insight into the differences between groups of patients, both in terms of the importance they attach to certain quality criteria, and in terms of differences in experiences. Special attention will be given to the expectations and quality of care for ‘vulnerable’ groups of patients and to trends in the quality of care over time. In this respect, NIVEL cooperates with the Dutch Centre for Consumer Experience in Health Care in a number of projects.
After developing the CQ-index system, the validity and implementation of this instrument in practice will become the core issue. When developing the CQi it was posited that measuring once could provide several groups with the data they need, such as consumers (in order to make an informed choice), health insurance providers (for care purchasing), and health care suppliers (for quality improvement). An important question is whether and how to shape this in practice.
Beside the CQ-index, other studies into health care quality from the patient’s perspective are also being initiated. Attention is given to the patient’s role as a health care manager, focusing on self-management or the use of decision-aids, and as a critical care consumer, as well as to the influence of patient participation on the quality of care. In comparative research, alternative methods and courses of treatment such as integrated care as opposed to regular care are also being compared on their effects on patients.
The topic of ‘quality of care from the patient’s perspective’ is even more important to patients with psychological problems, because in this field patients’ wishes and specialists’ judgements regularly differ significantly. This is why NIVEL researches the treatment preferences of patients with psychological problems and the degree to which these are met. In case of discrepancies between the two, it would be preferable to conduct research into the influence this has on the long-term outcomes of the treatment.