Home-care Nursing: Objective

Cultivating the “Innovation by Nurses”

Funded by the Nippon Foundation, the Sasakawa Health Foundation has launched an 8-month training program for nurses with nearly 10 years of experience. Abiding by the value of a home-care nursing center, they were expected to cultivate essential skills in business administration and become fluent in a community-centered approach in healthcare through the program.

Introduction

■The Aging Population

In Japan, it is anticipated that 40% of the total population will be aged 65 or older by 2060. As the aging of the population progresses, it has become more urgent for Japan to respond to an ongoing crisis in its long-lasting national health insurance system as a model of Universal Health Care. Because hospitals and other medical care facilities are readily available in most parts of Japan, and the costs to beneficiaries are relatively small, people tend to overuse medical institutions without trying to devise appropriate ways to manage their own health. However, due to multiple causes, including the rapid aging of the population, the national economic slowdown and a shortage of human resources, it is inevitable that the existing health care system will become unaffordable and unsustainable. 

“The Nippon Foundation Home-care Nursing Center” program (hereafter “the Program”) run by the Sasakawa Health Foundation (SHF) is designed to provide an innovative alternative which will put into practice the principles of Primary Health Care enshrined in the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration.

■Why Nurses?

Nurses can effectively respond to the wide range of health-related needs within the community in partnership with many others, such as local governments, nutritionists, pharmacists and local people in the community. In this role, they can complement the involvement of medical institutions and physicians in responding to such needs, thereby expanding capabilities. 

In Japan, there are more than 2 million nurses, of which 1.5 million are active. Among those, only 4 % have been engaged in home-care nursing. Recognizing the challenges of the aging of the Japanese population, and the potential for expanding the role of nurses in the health care system, in 2014, SHF launched a program for nurses with the aim of enabling them to establish their own private offices in the community.

The Significance of the Nippon Foundation Home-care Nursing Center

The Nippon Foundation Home-care Nursing Center, a home-care center which is located throughout Japan is operated by the nurses who have completed our nurse-centered entrepreneurship training program.

For the promotion of community health, the center plays a pivotal role in providing an inclusive and holistic care with an effective physical assessment and becoming a “hub” of community health. In addition, the center is cultivating a network for the nurses of the centers so that they can be coherent to share, exchange, and provide information to each other readily.