Routine outcome measurement (ROM) is a 'hot' topic in the Netherlands. Over recent years the Netherlands have developed a centralized monitoring system for all reimbursed mental health interventions, in an attempt to improve the quality of care. The Foundation for Benchmarking Mental Health (SBG) is an independent knowledge centre for mental health providers and insurance companies. It was founded to organize and manage the countrywide ROM initiative. A Dutch countrywide ROM initiative is appealing, and the procedures in the Netherlands are described. However, the national ROM system was oversold. Arguments are discussed. It would have been a far better strategy if insurance companies and authorities had not focused on a national system but stimulated local data collection and requested a managerial plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle to stimulate service improvements from year to year. Within the same service, chances are higher that the same kind of clientele is served from year to year and therefore it will be easier to interpret the data. The ROM should regain its clinical focus. Mobile ROM systems using smartphones that collect sampled experiences could be an interesting future solution.