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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 543426, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/543426
Review Article

Improving Community Healthcare for Patients with Parkinson's Disease: The Dutch Model

1Department of Neurology, Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2Department of Neurology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands
3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands
4IQ Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands

Received 2 August 2011; Revised 6 October 2011; Accepted 6 October 2011

Academic Editor: Gammon M. Earhart

Copyright © 2012 S. H. J. Keus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Because of the complex nature of Parkinson's disease, a wide variety of health professionals are involved in care. Stepwise, we have addressed the challenges in the provision of multidisciplinary care for this patient group. As a starting point, we have gained detailed insight into the current delivery of allied healthcare, as well as the barriers and facilitators for optimal care. To overcome the identified barriers, a tertiary referral centre was founded; evidence-based guidelines were developed and cost-effectively implemented within regional community networks of specifically trained allied health professionals (the ParkinsonNet concept). We increasingly use ICT to bind these professional networks together and also to empower and engage patients in making decisions about their health. This comprehensive approach is likely to be feasible for other countries as well, so we currently collaborate in a European collaboration to improve community care for persons with Parkinson's disease.