The positioning of emergency care in Diakonessenhuis Hospital

Given the concentration of acute medical specialist care in the Netherlands, general hospitals must proactively position their emergency care services. As such, Diakonessenhuis Hospital – a comprehensive city hospital in Utrecht – asked SiRM to guide their exploration and analyses of how to position their emergency care services. In response, we inventoried areas of focus with a broad group of doctors and tested their feasibility. Diakonessenhuis Hospital continues to refine their positioning based on the step-by-step plan we developed.

Staff shortages and stricter quality standards mean that the decreasing number of locations delivering 24/7 emergency care is expected to continue. Given the impetus towards concentrating acute medical specialist care, hospitals need to proactively address their positioning in emergency care, especially when surrounding hospitals already clearly distinguish themselves. As such, Diakonessenhuis Hospital asked SiRM to guide them in exploring their emergency care positioning and draw up a step-by-step plan for further development.

SiRM identified possible areas of focus for emergency care through a workshop with acute-care specialities. To provide a common starting point, SiRM calculated so-called market scores for acute medical specialist care provided by the Diakonessenhuis, giving insight into whether patients from outside the local area come to the Diakonessenhuis for specific specialities and diagnoses.

We then tested the areas of focus’ potential and feasibility to arrive at a positioning. In addition, we interviewed stakeholders from Diakonessenhuis Hospital and its network partners and health insurer, asking whether Diakonessenhuis Hospital’s starting position is conducive to realising the areas of focus – and what might still be needed if not.

Finally, we drew up a step-by-step plan to continue refining the positioning.


Saskia van der Erf
Mainly active in International Health Systems, Pharmaceutical care, Emergency care and Mental Healthcare
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