Thesis defense Anke Richters (Donders series 316)
13 June 2018
Promotor: prof. dr. M. Olde Rikkert
Copromotors: dr. Ir. M. van der Marck, dr. M. Perry, dr. R. Melis
The majority of people with dementia in the Netherlands do not live in a care facility. They receive care from various primary care professionals. Care for people with dementia is extensive, complex and often highly fragmented. DementiaNet is an effort to make care for these people better and more efficient, by aiming at network-based care with high levels of collaboration between care professionals, higher dementia-specific expertise, iterative improvement cycles and clinical leadership. This thesis describes the research performed on 13 networks where the DementiaNet approach has been implemented. The study showed that care professionals started to function more as a network, with higher levels of collaboration and coordination. In addition, quality of care was improved, for instance more diagnoses were done in primary care setting, more care plans were made and less often were there emergency situations. Moreover, the study showed that leadership and strong involvement of the primary care practice were essential ingredients to effective network-based care. Last, it also became clear that a well-structured and frequent multidisciplinary meeting to discuss all individual patients was central in well-functioning networks.