The 14th International Conference on Integrated Care saw the launch of IFIC’s Integrated Care Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion of the science, knowledge or application of integrated care in policy and practice around the World. For 2014, the IFIC Committee decided to present the inaugural award to Pim Valentijn from the Jan van Es Instituut for Contribution to Science.
Pim Valentijn’s work has created a new and unifying conceptual framework through which to understand integrated care. The framework places person-focused and population-based care as the guiding principle for achieving integration across the care continuum and helpfully provides a visual understanding of how different integration processes play inter-connected roles on the macro- (system integration), meso- (organisational, professional) and micro-level (clinical, service and personal integration).
In awarding the prize, the judges were not just impressed by the elegant way in which the framework provided a new conceptualisation of the complexity of integrated care but also how it provided a useful tool to support research analysis (e.g. in Project Integrate), as a guide to teaching, and as a way of explaining to those tasked with implementing integrated care successfully that the process is a complex one and requires attention to be paid at every level. It was noted how the framework was being widely cited alongside more established work – such as Wagner’s Chronic Care Model – as a way of thinking about how to best implement more integrated care systems.
The work of Pim Valentijn and colleagues to validate and refine their model continues and such scientific work will be of key importance. At present, whilst we know much about the various building blocks of integrated care, our field of knowledge remains weak in terms of the implementation science that would enable us to translate research findings and evidence into practical tools to support policy and practice. In awarding the inaugural prize to Pim Valentijn and his work we recognise the role that IFIC must play to support the effective deployment of integrated care around the World.
CEO IFIC & Senior Associate, The King’s Fund, UK