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The Danish Healthcare Quality Programme

Danish Regions, the Danish Government and Local Government Denmark (KL) have launched a national healthcare quality programme to support continuous quality improvement in the healthcare service.


The quality programme consists of three core elements:

  • 8 national goals for the Danish healthcare system
  • The establishment of learning and quality teams in selected areas
  • A national management programme

It is complemented by a systematic involvement of patients and relatives, value-based management and the use of health data.

Furthermore, an E-learnings course with seven lectures has been developed in order to provide an introduction to the improvement work in the Danish healthcare system.


The 8 National Goals

The National Goals constitute one of the main pillars of the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme and they aim to ensure a shared, ambitious direction for healthcare development for the benefit of the patients. A number of indicators have been selected in order to concretise the broader goals.

Since the collaboration on the eight national goals in 2016, municipalities and regions have been making targeted efforts to implement and embed these goals in specific actions for healthcare personnel. The local anchoring in hospital units, municipal health efforts as well as in general practice presents a cornerstone in the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme. 



Learning and Quality Teams

Learning and Quality Teams constitute another key element in the quality programme. The teams are established across regions and municipalities and they consist of a network of relevant departments/units and an expert group with leading clinicians and experts of change, data etc.

A Learning and Quality Team is established within an area with unsatisfactory quality or large variation in treatment and quality across hospitals. The aim is to establish 2-3 new teams every year.

The completed Learning and Quality Teams are:

  • Rational use of antibiotics
  • The specialised palliative area
  • Apoplexy
  • Hip fractures
  • Diabetes in children

The on-going Learning and Quality Teams are:

  • Coercion in psychiatry
  • Emergency surgery
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

The Learning and Quality Team currently being prepared is:

  • Cross-sectorial patientcare of hip fractures


The National Management Programme

As part of the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme, the National Management Programme is to train hospital and primary care leaders in order for them to gain the ability to lead the shift in focus from quality control to a focus on continuous data-supported knowledge. The aim is for leaders to be able to translate the visions of the quality programme to the medical practice. The focus is to enhance the cross-sectional collaboration as well as focus on data-supported quality improvements.

By March 2021, four teams had completed the first part of the programme. The programme has been carried out by private consultancies. In the summer of 2021, it was decided to establish a cross-sectional group that is to develop a renewed version of the programme.