Elderly care specialist SVRZ sought support in balancing the costs and revenues of their three geriatric rehabilitation locations. "While maintaining quality and job satisfaction," adds Thijs van der Feen, Cluster Director of Oosterschelde, as an important focus point. The analysis by Accezz revealed interesting improvement potential, and the results are now in.

Aligned from the start
Cluster Director Thijs entered the process with Accezz openly. "I extensively discussed with the Accezz analyst what we consider important in geriatric rehabilitation and the quality we want to maintain. We immediately aligned. It was clear that the content remained central, and Accezz didn't come to cut costs recklessly. This good first impression gave me confidence to start the process."

Saving while maintaining quality
Accezz's analysis showed that there were many opportunities for savings without affecting the quality of care. "I appreciated the practical approach of the analysis," says Thijs. "The analyst and his team stayed close to the practice. They enriched the analysis results with examples of what they observed on the work floor. This gave the improvement opportunities a practical character."

Understandable resistance
After the analysis, Thijs was paired with Project Manager Peter Adema for the change process. The two had short lines of communication, which allowed them to act quickly, especially important when dealing with resistance from the teams. "It's understandable that resistance occurred because improvement requires change," says Peter. "Shifts were shortened, and some services disappeared to achieve the savings. It's logical that people would struggle with that." Parallel to the project, preparation and implementation of a new organizational structure were ongoing. "These were extra challenging circumstances," Thijs notes. "These are periods when employees may not be as positive. As a team leader, you have to stay close to pick up on signals." This was an early insight into the project approach. The proximity of team leaders on the work floor is very valuable. That's when they see the losses (lost time) or the risks (qualitative) and can take well-founded action.

Understanding the situation
Not everyone saw the necessity of the change process. Thijs: "I worked closely with Accezz's project team to guide the team leaders. We provided them with insight into the situation and supported them in resolving issues." Thijs also joined a work meeting. "So that employees could express their concerns directly to me."

Positive signs
After the implementation and embedding of the changes, savings were achieved at two of the three geriatric rehabilitation locations, and the third location is on track. "You can see that employees have been well involved in the change and are increasingly accustomed to the new way of planning and working," says Peter. Thijs agrees and points out: "Accezz's approach was very structured and methodical, making change logical and understandable. We now work with net schedules based on the inventoried activities supplemented with a care needs assessment. We also use the deviation reporting to track when adjustments are needed. That's something our organization can rely on. After Accezz's project team left, being able to refer back to that was very helpful for me. The changes have been well embedded in our organization."

Future-proof organization
The aforementioned transition to a new organizational structure at SVRZ was implemented shortly after the Accezz project ended. "That's why we decided to bring forward our audit, which we normally conduct after each project," says Peter. "Then we can see if the new processes and systems are still in the right place." Looking back, he concludes: "Thijs and I were closely monitoring the situation and could quickly adjust during the project." Thijs can only agree: "The road to achieving savings had some bumps, but as an organization, we have come out stronger. Our geriatric rehabilitation locations are future-proof again."

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Thijs van der Feen

Cluster Director Oosterschelde

"I extensively discussed with the Accezz analyst what we consider important in geriatric rehabilitation and the quality we want to maintain. We immediately aligned."

Change to improve

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