Integrated dementia care in the Netherlands: A multiple case study of case management programmes
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The number of dementia patients is growing, and they require a variety of services, making integrated care essential for the ability to continue living in the community. Many healthcare systems in developed countries are exploring new approaches for delivering health and social care. The purpose of this study was to describe and analyse a new approach in extensive case management programmes concerned with long-term dementia care in The Netherlands. The focus is on the characteristics, and success and failure factors of these programmes. A multiple case study was conducted in eight regional dementia care provider networks in The Netherlands. Based on a literature study, a questionnaire was developed for the responsible managers and case managers of the eight case management programmes. During 16 semistructured face-to-face interviews with both respondent groups, a deeper insight into the dementia care programmes was provided. Project documentation for all the cases was studied. The eight programmes were developed independently to improve the quality and continuity of long-term dementia care. The programmes show overlap in terms of their vision, tasks of case managers, case management process and the participating partners in the local dementia care networks. Differences concern the targeted dementia patient groups as well as the background of the case managers and their position in the local dementia care provider network. Factors for success concern the expert knowledge of case managers, investment in a strong provider network and coherent conditions for effective inter-organizational cooperation to deliver integrated care. When explored, caregiver and patient satisfaction was high. Further research into the effects on client outcomes, service use and costs is recommended in order to further analyse the impact of this approach in long-term care. To facilitate implementation, with a focus on joint responsibilities of the involved care providers, policy recommendations are to develop incentives for collaborative financial contracts between insurers and providers.