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Buurtzorg Home care at its best

Buurtzorg is an innovative approach in the Netherlands which was set up to deliver home care to all kinds of patients.

Question # 1 How good is Buurtzorg?

Compared with traditional nursing organizations in the Netherlands, people who use 1. get healthy / cured faster, 2. require half the amount of care, 3. experience 1/3 fewer emergency hospital admissions, 4. have shorter average stays when they are hospitalized. 5. are less likely to go into nursing homes.

Ernst & Young estimated that the Netherlands would save nearly EURO 2 billion a year if all home care organizations achieved results like

Cost comparison

Part # 2 What is the purpose?

Buurtzorg’s purpose is to help people

live meaningful, autonomous lives.

Questions to discover your purpuse

Part # 3 What do nurses do?

5 examples of home-care services nurses do: 1. Assess patients’ needs. 2. Develop and implement care plans. 3. Provide care services. 4. Schedule medical visits as needed. 5. Generate documentation needed to facilitate continuous care and billing.

A nurse, who works with an elderly person, may start working with a client by having a cup of coffee with him or her and finding out what the elderly person 1. can still do herself / himself, and 2. can no longer do / needs help with.

Nurses continuously educate themselves to be able to

do many different tasks for a client during one visit. This is efficient and it improves the social interaction, because only a few care professionals need to visit each client.

At the heart of the nurse-led model is client empowerment by making the most of the clients’ existing capabilities, resources and environment and emphasising self management.

3 goals nurses have 1. Maintain or regain patients’ independence. 2. Train patients and families in self-care. 3. Create networks of neighbourhood resources.

Part # 4 How do nurses organize?

There is no hierarchy and no HR department in the Buurtzorg network of nurses.

A team of nurses must consist of maximum 12 nurses. Each team works independently and takes responsibility for all aspects of care for 50 – 60 patients.

 Each team is responsible for patients they care for, and have the freedom to deliver the best possible care.  Each team member and team correct things himself / herself / themselves when problems arise.

Nurses use an IT system for  online scheduling,  documentation of nursing assessments and services, and  billing

Further inspiration

Part # 5 What do nurses learn?

Nurses learn, for example, 1. how to listen well, 2. how to do meetings, 3. how to handle conflicts, 4. how to make decisions, and 5. how to coach each other.

Further inspiration

Part # 6 How do nurses learn?

Nurses are encouraged to build expertise in areas that most interest them.

Nurses decide on their own training needs. They also look for the best education provider themselves. That could, for example, be a medical supplier, a hospital department, a pharmacist, or another Buurtzorg team.

Nurses contact coaches when problems arise. The coaches may suggest solutions that other teams have used, but they have no power to impose these solutions.

Further inspiration

Part # 7 How do nurses make decisions?

Jos de Blok writes a blog.

Decisions are made when it is obvious that ideas / experiences that people share on the blog go in a certain direction. From minute 5.

During a meeting in a team, everyone can make suggestions.

In decision-making, the consensus model is used. Every vote counts, and everyone in the team has to agree with a certain decision. When there are no fundamental objections against a proposal, it will be tried out to find out how well it works.


How do home care nurses work and learn?