The History of Buurtzorg

Buurtzorg Nederland was founded in 2006 by Jos de Blok and a small team of professional nurses who were dissatisfied with the delivery of health care by traditional home care organizations in the Netherlands. Together they decided to create a new model of patientcentered care focused on facilitating and maintaining independence and autonomy for the individual for as long as possible.

“I believe in client-centered care, with nursing that is independent and collaborative” said Jos de Blok, Director and CEO, Buurtzorg Nederland, “The community-based nurse should have a central role – after all they know best how they can support specific circumstances for the client.”
Jos, himself a nurse, believes in an empowered nurse-led team approach, as well as an empowered patient. He believes most patients can be encouraged to participate together with their Buurtzorg nurse in finding solutions to their home care needs, and that many of these solutions can be found right in the community.
What started as a team of 4 nurses in 2006, has grown to nearly 8,000 nurses in 2014, with teams in the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan and now, the United States. A 2010 Ernst & Young report documented savings of roughly 40 percent to the Dutch health care system, and a 2012 KPMG case study found:
“Essentially, the program empowers nurses (rather than nursing assistants or cleaners) to deliver all the care that patients need. And while this has meant higher costs per hour, the result has been fewer hours in total. Indeed, by changing the model of care, Buurtzorg has accomplished a 50 percent reduction in hours of care, improved quality of care and raised work satisfaction for their employees.”

The Buurtzorg Mission
Buurtzorg Neighborhood Nursing is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with an important social mission:
to change and improve the delivery and quality of home health care through the leadership and collaboration of the community nurse, allowing the individual to receive the kind of care they most need, where they most want it, and thus avoid more costly institutional care for as long as possible.

The Buurtzorg Model and Approach
Patient-Centered. Highly Skilled. Compassionate. Innovative. Synergistic.
These are all words to describe the Buurtzorg model and the approach of the Buurtzorg nurse. Buurtzorg’s highly qualified and well-trained licensed community nurse teams create positive and proactive solutions to provide compassionate, effective, holistic, quality care. This personalized attention and team approach allows individuals to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible, avoiding more costly institutional care.
Working closely with each individual patient, family members, primary care provider, and — as needed — other health care and community professionals, the Buurtzorg nurse works to design and implement the most appropriate and effective care plan based on an individual’s needs. Buurtzorg’s community-based nurse-led teams integrate the latest research and innovations with practical common sense, creating a simple design of community-based, patient-centered health care delivery.
What Distinguishes Buurtzorg from Other Home Care Organizations?
The team approach allows for the best solutions to promote independence and the quality of life, and allows nurses the autonomy to practice to their highest level of training.
All Buurtzorg nurses are responsible for promoting and providing outstanding care. They focus not only on current needs, but also on preventing future problems.
The Buurtzorg nurse acts as health coach for the patient and family, helping them find the most relevant and innovative solutions to receiving the care they need at home.
Nurses are supported by a simple and streamlined organization with modern IT technology to facilitate “real time” information that is directly connected to the care process and reduces administrative overhead.
Buurtzorg nurses provide licensed, professional care in accordance with the highest national and international professional standards, which are evidence-based and closely monitored.