2022 – Buurtzorg, a Dutch nonprofit home nursing organization founded in 2006 by Jos de Blok, Gonnie Kronenberg and Ard Leferink, had developed a unique model. (‘Buurtzorg’ means ‘neighborhood nursing’ in Dutch). This is a new article bij Havard Business School about the – at least in Holland – welknown case Buurtzorg. In this knowledge bank you can find several items on this ‘best case’, the first from 2008. (See below at reference.)
Buurtzorg’s organization model
The organization exists of many self-managed teams (over 10.000 nurses in 900 teams in 2022), an administrative team of 50 persons and a BuurtzorgWeb for the communication, the mutual help and learning about what works well in practice. The local teams exist of no more than 12 nurses, with a minimal centralized back-office support and a flat organizational structure. There is no middle management, only a group of coaches whom nurses could call for advice at their discretion.
Buurtzorg’s client satisfaction ratings were 30% higher than the average ratings of comparable organizations, while the level of absenteeism, overhead, required hours of care per client, and turnover were one-third to two-thirds lower.
An increasingly dire nurse shortage added urgency to the question of how to learn from practice and improve efficiency? Would that be possible and still keep the organization as flat as it is now? Would that be possible while any solution that felt controlling did not fit in the easygoing culture; stronger! the organizations philosophy was simply not to interfere.
Buurtzorg is experimenting with ‘data mining’ on the data that nurses introduce in the Omaha System about the nursing of clients and its results and feeding these data back to the nurses.
Bernstein, E.; Sandino, T,; Minnaar, J.; Lobb, A.: ‘Buurtzorg’, (2022), Harvard Business School. October 2022. N2-122-101.
And see in this knowledge bank:
Buurtzorg Nederland: a fresh view on home care (workplaceinnovation.org), 2008.