Objective: to determine the usability of a recently developed set of 30 structure and process birth centre quality indicators. Design: an explorative study using mixed-methods including literature, a survey, interviews and observations. The study is part of the Dutch Birth Centre Study. We first determined the measurability of birth centre quality indicators by describing them in detail. Next, we assessed the birth centres in the Netherlands according to these indicators using data derived from the Dutch Birth Centre General Questionnaire, the Dutch Birth Centre Integration Questionnaire, interviews, and policy documents. Setting and participants: representatives of 23 birth centres in the Netherlands. Measurements and findings: 28 of the 30 quality indicators could be used to assess birth centres in the Netherlands, one had no optimal value defined, another could not be scored because the information was not available. Each quality indicator could be scored 0 or 1. Differences between birth centres were shown: the scores ranged from 7 to 22. Some of the quality indicators can be combined or made more specific so that they are easier to assess. Some quality indicators need adaptation because they are only applicable for some birth centres (e.g. only for freestanding or alongside birth centres). Key conclusions and implications for practice: 28 of the 30 quality indicators are usable to assess structure and process quality of birth centres. With the findings of this study the set of structure and process quality indicators for birth centres in the Netherlands can be reduced to 22 indicators. This set of quality indicators can contribute to the development of a quality system for birth centres. Further research is necessary to formulate standards or minimum quality requirements for birth centres and to improve the set of birth centre quality indicators.
- Birth centres
- Quality indicators
- Structure and process assessment