case study

How Buurtzorg health nurses efficiently exchange information through Siilo

With more than 10.000 employees, the Buurtzorg home care organisation provides in-home care to more than 80.000 patients throughout the Netherlands every year. Buurtzorg is known for its emphasis on self-management and willingness to embrace digital tools to facilitate patient care and employee coordination.

Challenge: Unwieldy communication within and between teams

As home health nurses are often out with different patients on different schedules, it’s important for them to stay connected with their teams in a flexible way. For example, when transferring patient care between a healthcare facility and their home, nurses are in contact with colleagues and other external care providers supporting the patient several times a day. This communication typically happened by phone or via email and/​or fax, which proved time-consuming and disruptive when coordinating care. Discussing patient care with colleagues is critical to delivering high quality care. While apps such as WhatsApp could help with asynchronous communication, they are not designed to meet the strict security and compliance measures required when dealing with patient data. It was time for Buurtzorg to look for a solution that fit their unique needs. 

Buurtzorg Dineke Noppers Portrait
We used to have to call for changes in the dosage or adjustments of a time schedule. Then you’d get routed through an automated switchboard or you’d be put on hold for quite some time.”
Dineke Noppers, home health nurse in Barneveld

Solution: Sure, fast information exchange

While the Buurtzorg Head Office typically takes an advisory role with regards to team collaboration, it was important for them to provide their staff with a secure alternative to commercial messengers.

Buurtzorg made the decision to set up a closed network with Siilo, because it made it easy to connect all employees and track progress towards goals to transition away from unsecure messaging platforms. Shortly after implementing Siilo, Buurtzorg employees began to notice the positive changes the messenger had on their work.

Simplified connection to colleagues

With the Siilo network, colleagues can easily find each other via the common Buurtzorg contacts list and quickly exchange messages in one-on-one conversations or in groups organised around patient care. Similarly, many patient cases involve multiple disciplines, such as general practitioners or occupational therapists, but with the Siilo Member Directory, nurses can also easily get in touch with external healthcare professionals across the region.

Secure and flexible communication

All Buurtzorg employees can use the Siilo Messenger app directly on their smartphone, tablet, and/​or their Buurtzorg-provided Chromebooks as they move between patients. This empowers home health nurses to self-manage teams while simultaneously staying connected to the entire organisation. With end-to-end encryption, a secure PIN Code, and a design that keeps Siilo data and personal information separated, Buurtzorg and their staff can collaborate without worrying about compromising patient data.

Never being on hold again

Dineke Noppers has been working as a nurse for Buurtzorg in Barneveld since 2013. She sees Siilo as a method of bypassing the frustrating stop-and-start method of trying to get in contact with colleagues. Frequently, calls between Buurtzorg employees took too long or were missed entirely, cutting into valuable time spent on patient care. Noppers appreciates that Siilo helps to resolve this efficiency issue: It’s a kind of WhatsApp, but safe. It is the easiest to use of all the systems we work with. (…) With a short message we can keep all involved healthcare professionals up to date. There is no need for calling anymore.”

Buurtzorg Danielle Gerard Portrait
Safety is paramount, especially with the new privacy legislation. WhatsApp and email were used in the past, but that is no longer allowed. Faxes were also used, but that required too many steps to send a simple message. Siilo meets all safety requirements and avoids significant hassles.”
Daniëlle Gérard, coordinating role within Buurtzorg

Result: Quick consultation with the right colleague

Since starting with Siilo in 2018, Buurtzorg has seen a 300% increase in adoption of the secure messenger across their teams. Ease of use and the ability to securely communicate easily with external professionals appear to be decisive. Within the first three months of using Siilo Connect, more than 1.000 employees were onboarded and actively using Siilo. 

This rapid, bottom-up adoption can be attributed to the fact that many of Buurtzorg care employees began proactively encouraging their colleagues to join them in conversations or groups on Siilo, and it is precisely the outcome the Buurtzorg Head Office was hoping for with their decision to leverage Siilo. 

Buurtzorg Petra van Dijk Portrait
We used to just send an email, but that’s no longer allowed. Then came a secure emailing system. That’s safe, but you have to log in again all the time. That takes the speed out of it. Sending messages back and forth with Siilo is easy and you get a quick response.”
Petra van Dijk, home health nurse at Buurtzorg in Oosterbeek

How can your organisation implement Siilo?

Would you like to know more about how Siilo can help your team to work better and safer together? Please contact us!