Auditing integrated stroke care to support quality improvement activities: development of a peer-to-peer audit framework

Publications 22 Feb 2022 Bert Vrijhoef |


To organize stroke care, multiple stakeholders work closely together in integrated stroke care services (ISCS). However, even a well-developed integrated care program needs a continuous quality improvement (CQI) cycle. The current paper aims to describe the development of a unique peer-to-peer audit framework, the development model for integrated care (DMIC), the Dutch stroke care standard and benchmark indicators for stroke.

A group of experts was brought together in 2016 to discuss the aims and principles of a national audit framework. The steering group quality assurance (SGQA) consisted of representatives of a diversity of professions in the field of stroke care in the Netherlands, including managers, nurses, medical specialists and paramedics.

Auditors, coordinators and professionals evaluated the framework, agreed on that the framework was easy to use and valued the interesting and enjoyable audits, the compliments, feedback and fruitful insights. Participants consider that a quality label may help to overcome necessity issues and have health care insurers on board. Finally, a structured improvement plan after the audit is needed.

An audit offers fruitful insights into the functioning of an ISCS and the collaboration therein. Best practices and points of improvement are revealed and can fuel collaboration and the development of partnerships. Innovative cure and care may lead to an increasing area of support among professionals in the ISCS and consequently lead to improved quality of delivered stroke care.

• Audit
• Stroke
• Quality 
• Care
• Framework

The authors would like to acknowledge the coordinators, professionals, and auditors for establishing the audit. The authors also acknowledge the members of the Steering Group Quality Assurance, Anne Klaassen, Maartje Kuiper, Tineke Krikke, Janny Bruining, Corinne Puppels, Ingrid Middelkoop en Luikje van der Dussen.

Buijck, B., Vrijhoef, B., Bergsma, M. and Dippel, D. (2022), “Auditing integrated stroke care to support quality improvement activities: development of a peer-to-peer audit framework”, Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Article published on International Journal of Integrated Care, January 6, 2022

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