Integrated community care
Buurtzorg’s 850 teams are in the process of becoming Buurtzorg+ teams. Buurtzorg teams have always worked with physio- and occupational therapists as part of their formal networks. Now Buurtzorg+ brings integrated community care through close collaboration between experts in care, mobility and functionality training.
The idea for Buurtzorg+ came from a Physio Therapist who joined Buurtzorg after working in the UK for some years. The Physio was impressed and inspired by the nurses, Physio Therapists(PTs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs) working together to re-able clients. After the initial implementation in the Netherlands (Zorggroep Almere), she proposed the idea to Buurtzorg and it was agreed to do a pilot in two of the Buurtzorg teams.
The teams found a PT and an OT to work closely with them in their team. Rather than set-up a waiting list, therapists would respond directly and get involved around individual clients. When necessary they would organise multidisciplinary meetings but most collaboration would take place at the client’s home.
The common goal of the Buurtzorg+ team was early identification and intervention to jointly create the conditions for client independence and safety at home through prevention. The nurses and therapists created coordinated plans and clear working agreements to ensure optimal care and support for clients and care-givers living at home, with liaison and evaluation of the client-care taking place on the job.
The pilot went well and the teams felt the collaboration model was simple, useful and very effective for client independence and safety at home. The team found its clients’ self-management skills improved and the care more efficient because of the good communication between the professionals. The teams saw benefits to their work load too as their clients become more able and mobile.
Buurtzorg+ demonstrated a successful approach to community integration. With nurses providing clinical leadership, professionalism and responsibility around the client, other teams wanted to try the approach.
An online multi-disciplinary blended-learning course enables the PT, OT and one dedicated Buurtzorg nurse to implement this collaboration in their own team. Now over half of all Buurtzorg teams have become Buurtzorg+ teams.