Global Comparators: an important tool for improving data quality

How Dr Foster’s Global Comparators programme has helped Erasmus University Hospital in the Netherlands

Max van Spronsen, adviser to the board on patient care, said: “The Global Comparators toolkit flagged an interesting issue that the academic hospitals in the Netherlands were not aware of. Because the administrative dataset was never used for remuneration nor for the creation of indicators such as HSMR, the focus of coding had gone to clinical registry data and not to administrative datasets.”

As a member of the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU), Erasmus University Hospital was involved with the Global Comparators programme in its pilot stage. In 2010, because of a demand for greater transparency on hospital outcomes from both the public and the government, the Dutch Health Quality Commission decided it was going to officially publish the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) as an indicator of care. The Global Comparators toolkit identified where the coding lacked depth and thus resulted in askew outcomes. Subsequently all NFU hospitals commenced a programme to improve coding.