I have cancer – which hospital is the best for me?
An important topic for patients, and therefore for Inspire2Go, is that of cancer centres of excellence where diagnostics, treatment and aftercare for patients with a specific type of cancer are performed at the highest level. It is of utmost importance for the patient and their loved ones to know that the very best care leads to the knowledge and confidence that everything is being, or has been, done for a better outcome.
Information sources and decision aids
All information sources and decision aids available are based on surveys among patients (for example, the Netherlands Healthcare Card) or on a limited set of public indicators from medical registrations (transparent data). It should be noted that the key medical indicators to identify a cancer centre of excellence are registered and collected (involving significant administrative pressures and costs) yet they are not made public. As a result, the most valuable and easily achievable return on investment, namely information enabling the patient to make a reliable choice, is not on offer. As a result, patients essentially cannot find an answer to the question: Which is the best centre of excellence for my type of cancer? In 2020, the only source of insights into the relevant quality indicators is still the medical specialists themselves, which is why we turned to them. In the following note you will find the design and explanation behind the research.
How can this research be used?
We emphasize that this survey is not a numerical survey, based on exact standards and criteria, but an opinion/perception survey based on individual medical insight from surgeons, internists, radiotherapists, pulmonologists, and other top professionals from all over the Netherlands. The outcome therefore does not constitute advice, but rather additional information. For this reason, we recommend that you include this input in your conversation with your general practitioner and attending specialist. This is also necessary because the landscape of hospitals is changing, partnerships and specialisations are emerging and the results reported here may sometimes need additional interpretation because, for example, one hospital may excel in diagnosis, but may not carry out treatments.
At the time of release of the data, not all survey results are in and we expect to be able to add information for other types of cancer by the end of 2020.
Information from other parties
The Kanker.nl website contains detailed, reliable and up-to-date information on almost all types of cancer and treatment methods.
In general, health insurers also provide valuable information about choosing a hospital. As an example, the Zilveren Kruis offers a service where the insured can request a health report providing information about the possible treatments for the 17 most common types of cancer together with a comparison of 5 different hospitals.
Patient associations will also often provide useful information about patient experiences about waiting times, treatment and comfort.
Much research has been carried out into differences between treatments and results at different centres. Two well-recearched and compelling publications on this topic are entitled: (In Dutch only)
A patient may be asked to participate in a trial, but he or she can also wish to participate, for instance to help others, or to actually benefit from a positive effect. The general information website Kanker.nl contains pages on this subject.
We would also like to draw your attention to another specialised website that not only offers lots of information on trials but that also offers a search engine to help you find trials that may be relevant to you personally. The website is kindly provided free of charge by a company that is a friend of ours, iClusion. The adress is Heyleys.nl.