15 August 2018

The Parkinson center for expertise at Radboudumc receives 10 million euros from the Gatsby Foundation. Thanks to this private donation the center, together with the University of Bristol (UK), can implement a new healthcare model that focuses on the desires and needs of people with Parkinson's disease. Implementation of this model is monitored for five years to evaluate to what extent the model leads to health improvement of patients and lower health care costs.

Many different organizations and healthcare providers are involved in Dutch healthcare. As a result, it is often a challenge for patients to find the right caregivers for their health problems. Moreover, healthcare providers often do not work well together and insufficient use is made of each other's knowledge and expertise. This is at the expense of patient's health and leads to unnecessarily high costs.

Prof. Bas Bloem, leader of theme Disorders of movement: 'In order to really tackle the problems in healthcare, two have to be met: ​​sufficient money to bridge the gap between the optimal healthcare model and what is now financed by the healthcare insurers, and sufficient time (at least a few years) to show scientifically that the new model is really better. We are therefore very grateful to the Gatsby Foundation for giving us the unique opportunity to implement and evaluate a new model of healthcare in the coming years. '

The new healthcare model is initially aimed at supporting people with Parkinson's disease, but is also suitable for a wide application in the healthcare sector. Key elements of the new approach are: optimal collaboration between all involved healthcare providers within one integrated healthcare network, the availability of a central contact point for all patients and the organization of care close to patient’s home.

In order to provide the right care in the right place, Radboudumc is starting an intensive collaboration with multiple hospitals and ParkinsonNet. Within this integrated network, the Parkinson's nurse plays an important role as the first contact point for patients. In addition, thanks to portable sensors (such as a smartwatch and a fall detector), it is possible to remotely monitor and supervise patients at home. Furthermore, both care providers and patients can also benefit from the knowledge and expertise from the university medical center via "telemedicine" (eg video calling).

Thanks to the donation from the Gatsby Foundation, the new healthcare model can be evaluated for 5 years and the knowledge gained can be shared with others. Healthcare insurer CZ will be involved from the start of the project to realize a future-proof and replicable organizational model for this new healthcare system in which the patient receives the best care. The assumption behind this is that care providers are rewarded for good cooperation and for the good health status of their patients. The new healthcare model will be initiated in Nijmegen area (Radboudumc and surrounding hospitals) and in the southwest of the UK.

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