Transparency about internal audit results to reduce the supervisory burden: A qualitative study on the preconditions of sharing audit results

Mirelle Hanskamp-Sebregts*, Paul B. Robben, Hub Wollersheim, Marieke Zegers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Many working hours of healthcare professionals are spent on administrative tasks. Administrative burden is caused by political choices, legislation, the requirements of health insurers and supervisors. Coordination between the parties involved, is lacking. Therefore, we studied to what extent sharing internal audit results of hospitals with external supervisors is possible and the necessary preconditions. We interviewed 42 individuals from six hospitals and the Dutch Health and Youth Care Inspectorate. The interviewees expressed that there is no coordination in timing and content between internal audits and external supervision. They were in favour of sharing internal audit results with external supervisors to reduce the supervisory burden. They stated that internal audits give insight into quality problems and improvements, how hospital directors govern quality and safety, and the culture of improvement within healthcare provider teams. With this information, the inspectorate can judge to what extent hospitals are learning organisations. The interviewees mentioned the following preconditions for sharing audit results: reliable and risk-based information about quality and safety, collected by expert, trained auditors, and careful use of this information by the inspectorate in order to maintain openness among audited healthcare professionals. In conclusion, internal audit results can be shared conditionally with external supervisors. When internal audit results show that hospitals are open, learning and self-reflecting organisations, the healthcare inspectorate can reduce their supervisory burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors received a grant of ZonMw (no. 515500002 ). Appendix A

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors


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