Several years ago I was contacted by a group of practitioners located in the largest city in the north of the Netherlands–actually the capital of the province known as Groningen. The “Platform,” as they are known, were wondering if I’d be willing to come and speak at one of their upcoming conferences. The practice environment was undergoing dramatic change, the group’s leadership (Dorti Been & Pico Tuene) informed me. Holland would soon be switching from government to a private insurance reimbursement system. Dutch practitioners were “thinking ahead,” preparing for the change–in particular, understanding what the research literature indicates works in clinical practice as well as learning methods for documenting and improving the outcome of treatment.
I was then, and remain now, deeply impressed with the abilities and dedication of Dutch practitioners. During that visit to Groningen, and the many that have followed (to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Beilen, etc.), its clear that clinicians in the Netherlands are determined to lead rather than be led. I’ve been asked to meet with university professors, practitioner organizations, training coordinators, and insurance company executives. In a very short period of time, two Dutch therapists–physician Flip Van Oenen and psychologist Mark Crouzen–have completed the “Training of Trainers” course and become recognized trainers and associates for the International Center for Clinical Excellence. And finally, a study will soon be published showing sound psychometric properties of the Dutch translations of the ORS and SRS.
I’ve also been working closely with the Dutch company Reflectum–a group dedicated to supporting outcome-informed healthcare and clinical excellence. Briefly, Reflectum has organized several conferences and expert meetings between me and clinicians, agency managers, and insurance companies. One thing for sure: we will be working closely together to train a network of trainers and consultants to promote, support, and train agencies and practitioners in outcome-informed methods in order to meet the demands of the changing practice climate.
Check out the videobelow filmed at Schipol airport during one of my recent trips to Holland: