Researchers and elderly join forces for better emergency care.
The amount of older patients visiting the Emergency Department (ED) is increasing. Anually, the flu season causes major organizational challenges for healthcare institutions. However, emergency care for the elderly entails more than just the growding problem at the ED. The Nationaal OnderzoeksConsortium Spoedzorg Ouderen (NOCSO) aims to improve the care for acutely ill older people through bundling knowledge and expertise from various researchers, working in the entire emergency care chain, and older patients themselves. Today, the NOCSO was launched during the National Symposium Emergency Care for the Elderly.
Future plans NOCSO
Until now, the NOCSO consists of various researchers from diverse Dutch institutes and members from the seniors organization KBO-PCOB. However, all care professionals, researchers, policy makers, and teachers – working in the whole spectrum of healthcare – and patients are more than welcome to join the NOCSO. Simon Mooijaart, internist geriatric medicine LUMC: “Ultimately, we will constitute a nationwide network which can be considered as a source of knowledge and reliable partner for all other care professionals, policy makers, and health insurance companies.” Bianca Buurman, nurse and professor Acute Elderly Carev Amsterdam UMC, complemented: ”Only by the collaboration of hospital professionals, primary and nursing home care, and the elderly themselves we are able to achieve our common goal of providing the best care to acutely ill older people.”
Patient experiences as basis in prioritizing research
Involvement of the older patient is considered as an essential basis in the development of NOCSO research plans and actions. Jan Festen, consortium member on behalf of senior organisation KBO-PCOB, represents the voice of the elderly: “Please do not think that you know what I want, just ask me in person.” In 2019, NOCSO will constitute the ‘Knowledge Agenda Emergency Care for the Elderly’. In order to do so, an online survey will be conducted among patients, care professionals, policy makers, and health insurance companies aiming to get insight into the existing quetions regarding emergency care for older patients. Dependending on the outcomes, priorities will be set for establishing and executing research devoted to emergency care for the elderly. Furthermore, NOCSO will develop courses and trainings based on collective expertise and the latest developments and will recommend other educational programs. Finally, NOCSO will provide reliable figures and insights that can be used for policy and organization purposes.