As of Monday 5th October 2015, this valued organisation ceased to exist.

It went into insolvency a month previously, as the parent organisation TNO, who has owned it since 2010 decided that it was no longer a going financial concern, based on the lack of sufficient assignments following a period of extensive cost-cutting. Its contribution to the field of Healthcare Quality in the Netherlands and internationally over a period of more than 35 years, is briefly outlined below.

Dutch Institute for Healthcare Improvement: the CBO

CBO was founded in 1979 as the Central Accompagnement Organization for peer review by the Dutch Association of Chief Medical Officers. Originally CBO focused on improving the quality of care by physicians and other healthcare professionals and was a promoter of the ‘visitate’ system. From 1999, CBO also focused on the organizational aspects of quality of care, including patient involvement. CBO accompanied organizations in systematically improving health and quality of care. Central dimensions of quality of care are patient safety, patient centeredness, effective and efficient care. The patient has become a partner in improving quality of health(care) in almost all activities which are carried out by CBO. The CBO employed 55 professionals in 2013 prior to its take-over by TNO (forced on it by loss of long-term Government subsidies).

Mission: CBO had been working for over 30 years as a reference and research institute and a centre for implementation. Its aim is to improve the quality of health and healthcare.

Core activities: as well as the focus on the development, implementation and review of professional quality in health and healthcare CBO (re)developed and validated methods and quality tools. Specific topics were:

  • Guidelines & Indicator Development
  • Implementation & Quality Tools
  • Patient involvement, Self-management and health literacy
  • Logistics, Labour & Comprehensive care
  • Patient safety & Transformation
  • Health in schools

Reference Institute: CBO was the reference institute, the benchmark in terms of quality of health and healthcare in the Netherlands. As an (inter)national centre for expertise and innovation in the field of quality of care in the Netherlands and Europe, CBO works with a wide range of strategies, taken from both healthcare and other sectors, such as schools and (small) businesses. We have a large (inter)national network which helps us detecting and sharing effective methods.

Knowledge Institute: CBO was a leading knowledge institute in the field of quality of health and healthcare. As an independent intermediary they were constantly moving between evolving medical science and daily practice of healthcare. They used well-founded methods for unlocking and organizing knowledge and interpreting and making it accessible all relevant players are involved.

CBO and NIGZ: Health promotion. In August 2012 CBO expanded its activities with the topic health promotion by taking over the activities of the Netherlands Institute for Health Promotion (NIGZ). CBO’s work in the field of health promotion is inspired by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, in which health promotion is described as ‘the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health’. Within this context CBO aimed to support professionals in the field of practice, policy and research by (action) research, innovation, development and implementation of health promotion. Specifically, CBO aimed to support in those stages in life and in those settings where important health gains could be reached: school health, health of vulnerable groups, healthy aging, health literacy, and healthy communities.

Contribution: The international activities of CBO included information on the design of health policy at European level. International activities involved:

  • Shaping and influencing European policy;
  • Contributing to the development of projects at European level;
  • Maintenance and expansion of a broad international network.

CBO has been very active in European collaboration since its start. It has helped stimulate the foundation and evolution of important networks such as the European Society for Quality in Health Care (ESQH), the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) and the European Health Futures Forum (EHFF). CBO was an WHO Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety and for School Health Promotion.

Quite recently CBO executed a large scale national Dutch Action Program of 4 years on self-management and patient empowerment. This program was supported by the patient organizations and the Dutch Ministry of Health. We presented our results at several national and international conferences. More information in Dutch can be found at www.zelfmanagement.com.

CBO has been a respected partner on health promotion, quality improvement and patient safety in many European (research) projects, funded by DG Sanco, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and by the FP7 programme.

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