Project INTEGRATE is an EU-funded research project that aims to gain valuable insights into the leadership, management and delivery of integrated care to support European care systems to respond to the challenges of ageing populations and the rise of people living with long-term chronic conditions. The project is financed under the European Commission FP7 programme to respond to this need for quality efficiency and solidarity of health care systems.
Despite the internationally recognised importance of the integrated care approach and the growing evidence of chronic conditions in ageing societies, integrated care is not a deployed option in many health systems. This project investigates a series of integrated care experiences of chronic conditions in different settings across Europe, to ultimately provide practical and theoretical insights which can then be reflected across the participating countries, and internationally.
Four case studies have already been undertaken to address several conditions (COPD, diabetes, geriatric care and mental health) that are among those with a high epidemiologic importance and high economic burden on health systems. The choice was based on comparability and difference, which are implemented in different types of health systems: national health systems types (Spain and Sweden) and health insurance types (Netherlands and Germany).
During this first phase, the project identified what works, when and where by bringing together different experiences from different settings under a common methodology. The project has untangled some of the complexity and explains why some conditions need different models/processes in integrated care compared to others, as well as revealing lessons that have universal value across different conditions and settings, in terms of positive patient care experiences; care outcomes; and cost-effectiveness.
This substantial amount of learning has been brought together to further enhance the current phase of the project which is considering cross-cutting, horizontal themes across all of the case study sites including: Care process Design: HRM and Workforce Changes; Financial Flows; Patient Involvement; and IT Management.
In the final phase of the project the project partners will carry out an international check and establish practical lessons and guidelines in the design, delivery, management and policy-making of integrated care.
To learn more about the research that is taking place and what impact this might have for future health and care system development, visit the website www.projectintegrate.eu
The International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) leads the Communication and Dissemination work package for this project. For more information on the work of the Foundation visit www.integratedcarefoundation.org