New implementation consortium CUSTOM-AF

Preventing cerebral infarctions caused by atrial fibrillation. That is the main goal of the implementation consortium CUSTOM-AF. Within this consortium, the Dutch Heart Foundation, NVVC Connect and the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance work together to provide optimal care for patients with atrial fibrillation.

The CUSTOM-AF implementation consortium shares successful practical examples with regional networks and draws up a guideline for organising active detection and integrated care within a network. The consortium partners also hope to find innovative ways for GPs to detect and treat atrial fibrillation without referral to the hospital.

Regional support
In a number of regions in the Netherlands, first and second line professionals already collaborate to provide good care for patients with atrial fibrillation. The CUSTOM-AF consortium will also boost and accelerate active detection and the collaboration between first and second line care in other regions, for example as a supplement to the existing CVRM programme. In the future, start-up financing should become available for regions affiliated with NVVC Connect. Specific agreements on this are still under development.

Preventing cerebral infarctions
Earlier detection and better treatment of atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia in adults, is an important part of the research agenda for cardiovascular disease. It was initiated in 2014 by the Dutch Heart Foundation and drawn up by scientists, doctors and patients. About 344.00 Dutch people suffer from atrial fibrillation. In addition, an estimated 80,000 people have undiagnosed Atrial fibrillation.

People with atrial fibrillation have an increased risk of cerebral infarction. An estimated 1,500 cerebral infarctions can be prevented annually by actively detecting atrial fibrillation and by optimally referring and treating patients. Good collaboration between first and second line healthcare professionals is essential in this.

Structural funding
It is the first time that these parties have set up a consortium in this new way. An implementation consortium is explicitly focused on finding innovative solutions and improving collaboration.

Ultimately, the consortium aims for national structural funding for regional care for patients with atrial fibrillation. In the coming months, the consortium will continue to work on the plans, seeking cooperation with regional parties and health insurers, among others.

Want to know more?
Do you want to know more, or do you have suggestions? Please contact Magda Barnhoorn, senior project leader of the CUSTOM-AF Consortium, at