In the European Parliament on 15 June, the newly established Integrated Care Alliance launched its initiative and Call for Action at an event hosted by Michał Boni MEP. The Call for Action sets out ten recommendations for accelerating the development, uptake and scaling-up of Integrated Care models in Europe. This initiative is complimentary to the European Innovation Partnership in Active and Healthy Ageing (EIPAHA), the initiative launched by the European Commission to foster innovation in the field of active and healthy ageing.
Mr. Boni praised the Alliance’s efforts, reiterating his support for the transition from existing fragmented health and social care models towards holistic, people-centric, coordinated care. “Action is urgently needed,” he said; “This transition requires political leadership, sustained investment and a long-term vision.” Effective solutions demand a joint, concerted effort with models of care that specifically address the increasing burden of chronic diseases and related co-morbidities. The Alliance seeks to mobilise all relevant players in driving the transformation to integrated and patient-centred care processes.
Nicole Denjoy, COCIR Secretary General, said; “We are pleased to work with our key partners, in cooperation with EU Institutions and Member States, in catalysing the deployment and scaling up Integrated Care across Europe. eHealth will play a pivotal role in driving this change”.
Nick Goodwin, CEO of the International Foundation for Integrated Care stressed that; “To deal with the future demands facing health and social care systems it is clear that people-centred and integrated care must be embraced as a key design principle. We need a paradigm shift across Europe in the way we approach care delivery if we are to maintain the levels of access and quality of care and outcomes that most of its citizens currently enjoy”.
“Integrated Care means identifying what matters to a patient and arranging care around this, with the patient and family as full partners. It is vital to involve patients and their organisations in co-designing health and social services and re-shaping health policy”, said Nicola Bedlington, EPF Secretary General.
Prof Yolande Lievens, President of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology, stressed the potential of Integrated Care models in enhancing quality, safety and equitable access. She explained that; “Integrated Care is the only solution for providing safe, high-quality and efficient care to all patients, especially oncology patients with medically complex needs”.
Claudio Saccavini, Technical Director of Arsenàl.IT, insisted it is essential to acknowledge both the social and health needs of patients, especially of those who suffering from multiple pathologies; “We need to exchange the right data with the right actors at the right time and we need to be well coordinated”.
UEHP President Dr Paul Garassus, explained; “The future of Europe’s hospitals lies in technology innovation. However, integrated care and coordination of actors requires strategic investment. The common goal must be to enhance collaboration and on-time information dedicated to better-informed patients. Further work requires quality indicators using new medical high tech services. Adapting health systems performance to efficient, integrated care is the next step for Europe’s Private Hospitals”.
“There are more than 100 million informal carers in Europe today providing 80% of care,” explained Eurocarers Executive Director, Stecy Yghemonos. “Therefore it is essential to address their needs and requirements as part of a holistic policy on integrated care.”
Rudy Mattheus, Chairman of the Voka Health Community in Flanders, agreed noting that; “Integrated Care is only possible with an active and engaged patient routinely using mHealth solutions in an environment of interoperable health care information technologies”.
Prof. Jean-Louis Vincent, President, European Critical Care Foundation, explained that the seamless communication and transmission of health data plays a central role in delivering optimal care to critically ill patients; “although technologically this future is not so far away, many barriers exist to the widespread uptake and implementation of Integrated Care”.
The future work of the Integrated Care Alliance will align with the larger context of the Digital Single Market and with the upcoming ‘Blueprint on Digital innovation for Europe’s ageing society in the 21st Century’.
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