Care coordination centers in each region to make acute care more accessible

Editorial Medicalfacts/ Janine Budding 15 May 2023 – 08:32

In 2025, a care coordination center must be set up in every acute care region. This has been decided by Minister Kuipers (Public Health, Welfare and Sport) after advice from parties involved in acute care. In a care coordination center in a region, the guidance to acute care is jointly and coordinated by various care providers in order to be able to offer patients the right care as quickly as possible by the right care provider at the right time and place. As a result, patients can go to 1 fixed place outside office hours with their non-life-threatening acute care questions and healthcare providers have a central point where there is always up-to-date information about available care capacity and beds.

Minister Kuipers: “Care coordination is an important means of reducing the pressure on acute care. Patients immediately end up in the right place and with the right care provider and care providers spend less time looking for a good place for their patients. The 10 pilots that have been carried out show that care coordination centers have added value for the accessibility of acute care. In one region, for example, it turned out that more than half of the people who called 112 with a care-related question could have been helped elsewhere. In another half of those care questions, it turned out that patients were sufficiently helped with (digital) self-help. That is better for the patient and helps to relieve acute care. Partly for this reason, many parties have advised me to quickly arrange the structural design of care coordination. I appreciate the commitment and energy to arrive at this advice, and also the commitment of those who have already started working with care coordination. That commitment is and will remain important.”

Importance of care coordination

Care coordination centers (ZCCs) are set up for acute but not life-threatening care needs and fulfill a number of roles. People who call a GP station or 112 with an acute but non-life-threatening need for care are forwarded to the ZCC. In the zcc, several care disciplines work together to determine the urgency of a request for help and to decide which care is most suitable at that time. This can be at home, for example digitally or with the help of a district nurse, but it may also be necessary, for example, to come to a general practitioner or to use acute mental health care. In this way, patients receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place and with the right care provider. In this way, acute care remains accessible to patients who really need it.

On the other hand, zccs play a role in unburdening care providers. Now it often happens that care providers spend a long time calling around, looking for an available place for a patient who needs acute care. Because the zcc has insight into the available capacity at care providers in the region, the care provider can be informed of where care is available. This saves time that healthcare providers can spend on caring for patients.

Organization of regional care coordination centers

There will be one care coordination center per ROAZ region. This means there is one point of contact for the ROAZ (Regional Consultation Acute Care Chain), one point of contact for the IGJ (Health Care and Youth Inspectorate) and health insurers, one information position, one digital system and one working method. There must be at least one physical work location where the different disciplines can work together. Hybrid cooperation must be possible in addition to this. The zcc must be open 24/7 for healthcare providers and for patients at least during ANW hours.

A zcc provides an unequivocal assessment of the urgency of care questions and determines which care is best suited. This is determined in consultation with the patient and based on the available capacity in the region. Care providers from different healthcare disciplines are deployed for triage. There will be no new telephone number for citizens. Phone calls to the GP post are automatically forwarded and reports that arrive at 112 and are not life-threatening are transferred to the zcc.

Timeline

As of 1 January 2025, there must be regional-wide care coordination in all ROAZ regions. In the advice, the parties write that they want to start implementing care coordination in 2024 in order to achieve this goal. A project organization is being set up by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport to create the national conditions necessary for the structural organization of care coordination and to support regions in implementation. Regions can immediately start implementing (parts of) care coordination. The pilots have already shown that a lot is possible in practice.

Source: Min VWS

Editorial Medicalfacts/ Janine Budding

I have specialized in interactive news for healthcare providers, so that healthcare providers are informed every day about the news that may be relevant to them. Both lay news and news specifically for healthcare providers and prescribers. Social Media, Womens Health, Patient advocacy, patient empowerment, personalized medicine & Care 2.0 and the social domain are spearheads for me to pay extra attention to.

I studied physiotherapy and Health Care business administration. I am also a registered independent client support worker and informal care broker. I have a lot of experience in various positions in healthcare, the social domain and the medical, pharmaceutical industry, nationally and internationally. And have broad medical knowledge of most healthcare specialties. And of the care laws from which the care is regulated and financed. Every year I attend most of the leading medical conferences in Europe and America to keep my knowledge up-to-date and to keep up with the latest developments and innovations. Currently I am doing a Masters in Applied Psychology.

My posts on this blog do not reflect the strategy, policy or direction of any employer, nor are they work by or for any client or employer.

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