Utrecht, July 13, 2016
The Haga Hospital in The Hague is the first hospital in The Netherlands to adopt Mediq CombiCare’s StomaLife.
In this new cooperative approach to ostomy care, the hospital’s specialist stoma nurse takes on a leading role, while the patient keeps the same point of contact, both in the hospital and at home. StomaLife’s strength lies in the fact that it is a carefully designed treatment protocol for all caregivers involved, combined with monitoring that focuses on preventing complications. Potentially, StomaLife can cut healthcare costs by at least 10%.
In The Netherlands, 38,000* people have a stoma. It is estimated that 7,000 new stomas are formed each year. Research** shows that 70 to 90% of people with a stoma will, sooner or later, suffer a complication such as backflow or blockage. StomaLife reduces the number of complications, while helping people with a stoma to be more self-reliant at home, and encouraging the prescription of ostomy products that are compatible with the patient’s life.
A single point of contact for the patient
Self-reliance starts even before the surgery. The stoma nurse carefully prepares the patient for every aspect of life with a stoma. Together, they tape a ‘practice stoma’ to the patient’s abdomen so that he or she can experience how it feels to have a stoma and learn how to take care of it. This way, patients are well prepared when they return home, with a stoma. With StomaLife, the stoma nurse is and remains the first point of contact for people with a stoma. The option of home visits after surgery gives them greater confidence in their ability to self-manage in the home situation, and helps prevent complications.
Lower healthcare costs
StomaLife’s efficient work procedures, together with the continuous monitoring involved, helps to avoid unnecessary healthcare costs. In addition, the choice of an appropriate stoma appliance is based on the life style of the person with a stoma. On behalf of the hospital, Mediq CombiCare continues to monitor people with a stoma after they have been discharged. This enables hospitals to keep an eye on the situation at home, while Mediq CombiCare notifies hospital stoma nurses if a complication is detected.
Life with a stoma
According to Annette Gardien, stoma nurse at the Haga Hospital the name is self-explanatory: “StomaLife is all about life with a stoma. Nobody wants to be dependent. When people with a stoma arrive home, the unavoidable fact is that they must take care of the stoma themselves. This often raises new questions. In the past, patients had to go back to the hospital to get their questions answered. In practice, however, few ever did. This is why, in StomaLife, our focus is on promoting self-reliance and why we now also visit people at home. They are a little surprised at first, but they are also delighted to see a familiar face from hospital in the surroundings of their own home.”
“Ostomy care does not stop at the hospital’s front door”, says Vincent Weijers, Executive Vice President of Mediq Benelux and France. “Complications are often not caught in time, or they are not even recognized as such, because the person with a stoma thinks “this is normal.” This type of cooperation with hospitals and health insurers enables the structure of ostomy care to be organized differently. Together we can make a difference for people with a stoma. Ostomy care involves specialized care, and StomaLife gives people access to hospital-based expertise, even at home. That results in better care while, ultimately, costs are lowered.”
StomaLife is a unique cooperative venture in the healthcare chain. Following in the footsteps of the Haga Hospital, the IJsselland Hospital in Capelle aan den IJssel, the Deventer Hospital, Twente Hospital Group (ZGT) and the Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis hospital in Delft have also started using the new procedure. Zilveren Kruis and VGZ are the first health care insurers to reimburse patients for the costs associated with StomaLife.
* Source: www.stomavereniging.nl
** Sources: Beautiful Lives, NIVEL Report Consumer Quality Index (CQI) stoma care 2013, Mediq Client Data and Analysis