Inspire2Live proudly presents the new website on Excellent Cancer Centres (Inspire2Go): www.inspire2go.nl
Why is this important?
This is the first time that patients can directly obtain meaningful and reliable information on the medical quality offered by hospitals and centres. It has always been, and still is, very difficult to establish objective and trustworthy criteria and measurement data on medical quality. Two metrics are available. One is patient experience, which reveals differences in empathy, comfort and personal interaction with doctors and nurses and the other is statistics on quantity of operations, complications and mortality. The first is relevant but unrelated to medical results, and the second is relevant but incomplete (because many data are not public) and is also very prone to misinterpretation, bias and errors of inference.
There is however one source that has more insight into data than any other and that is also competent to assess these data and formulate a well-founded opinion on medical quality of different centres: the group of specialists themselves. So, these are the people we asked for input.
How was it done?
A good partner of ours, IQVIA, a large international medical company (www.iqvia.com) possesses both the knowledge and the resources to carry out this inquiry on a large scale. They have invested significant capacity and funds to provide us with this new statistic, free of charge! About a thousand specialists from all hospitals and centres in the Netherlands were included in the query and results are still coming in.
At this moment, we have sufficient responses to be able to publish the result for six types of cancer (Lung, Breast, Oesophageal and Stomach, Intestinal and Colon, Melanomas and Pancreatic cancer).
Another close friend, Bert Kersten, former professor in Mathematics who got his PhD in the validation and interpretation of this type of queries, has analysed the data and concluded that they were sufficiently reliable to publish. His most important criteria were: distribution, voting on self, quantity of responses and convergence of responses. This last one means that recommendations peaked at three to five centres for every type of cancer. We emphasize that this is not a result that meets a scientific standard (e.g. like a trial), but that it is a representation of the convergent spontaneous opinion of a number of experts. It does not have the status of a medical advice, but it is information we offer for consideration by the Patient, her General Practitioner and her Specialist.
Many more friends have helped to assemble this information into a simple but content-rich website. I point out specifically four short interviews, one with a patient and three with senior specialists and teachers in their fields who explain the importance of excellence and encourage patients to be assertive and ask the doctor penetrating questions (e.g. What is it that makes you the right doctor for me?)
Where are we going now
The status now is that we have six types of cancer on our website. It is available for preview by everyone and for practical use by patients of these six types. We intend to go on gathering the remaining data to complete the database to fifteen cancer types. We are taking steps to make the site available in English or American translation soon. Our plan is to present the final completed version to politicians and the press as soon as the Corona pandemic abates and public attention becomes once more available to the broader human experience, hopefully with enhanced altruism and compassion for the suffering.
Inspire2Go is a spin-off from Inspire2Live and it will go on to implement similar projects to bring information to patients and to stimulate the actual use in medical practice of what has already been proved by science.
What we would like you to do
You are kindly invited to peruse and inspect the website (as far as language allows). If you spot any errors or omissions please reply directly to Peter Kapitein and to Tielo Jongmans so we can correct them.
We also will be very grateful if you will act as our first circle of expansion, by stimulating your own friends and patients who cross your path to actually use the site.
Last but not least we invite you to listen to the powerful message of our Patient Advocate Linda Burger who tells us* why excellence saves lives:
*The current video is Dutch spoken; an English version will be available later.