Buurtzorg (“neighborhood care”) is an innovative approach in the Netherlands which was set up to deliver home care to all kinds of patients. Compared with traditional nursing organizations in the Netherlands, Buurtzorg’s patients heal faster, require only half the amount of care, experience one-third fewer emergency hospital admissions, and have shorter average stays when they are hospitalized. Here are some inputs on how the nurses do it:
- Teams of nurses consist of maximum 12 nurses.
- There is no management structure and no hierarchy.
- Teams are responsible for patients and have the autonomy to deliver the best possible care.
- Patients are able to develop a relationship with 1 nurse over time.
- The nurse also acts as a coach and navigator for the patient and family – helping them find the most relevant and innovative solutions to receiving the care they need.
- Patients are able to get the care they need where they most want it.
- The personalized attention and team approach allow patients to stay in their homes and communities as long as possible – thereby avoiding more costly institutional care.
- Teams correct things themselves when productivity drops.
- Nurses are encouraged to build expertise in areas that most interest them.
- All nurses are able to identify and access experts through the organization’s intranet.
- Coaches are available when specific problems arise. The coaches may suggest solutions that other teams have used, but they have no power to impose these solutions.