“As part of a series of case studies on best practices in elder care, ACCESS Health’s Sofia Widén visited the University Medical Center at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands to meet with Dr. Erik Buskens and Dr. Klaske Wynia. In the following interview, they discuss the National Care for the Elderly Program introduced by the Dutch government.

The National Care for the Elderly Program is designed to improve care for elderly people with complex care needs. The objective of the program is to provide integrated care that is better suited to senoirs’ individual needs. The strength of the program lies in regional cooperation between care providers and researchers. Everyone involved in healthcare for the elderly is invited to participate in regional networks funded by the program.

For many older people, this improvement in quality results in a greater degree of independence, less reliance on care services, and a reduced risk of care and treatments that are unnecessarily burdensome. Patient centered models of care introduced by Buskens and Wynia can improve the quality of healthcare without raising healthcare costs, a lesson for everyone looking for improvements in that sector