From the 23rd to the 25th May 2018, Utrecht (the Netherlands) was the venue chosen to host the most prestigious International Conference on Integrated Care in Europe.

Each year, this conference gathers researchers, health professionals and management teams from over 50 countries around the world, dedicated to offering the best provision of integrated care and social care services both in the public and private spheres. At this meeting point, experiences, projects and evidence on integration from different perspectives are exchanged. Innovation and integrated solutions in public healthcare and socio-health care, eHealth through the use of new Information and Communications Technology, change management, co-production or patient participation in decision-making are some of the subjects worth highlighting, among others.

This year’s slogan was “Value for people and population: Invest in Integrated Care”. Thus, the main themes addressed included: value-based Integrated Care; managing population health; engaging and empowering people and communities; Integrated Care funding; vulnerable population and population at risk; and finally Primary Care in an integrated system. In this context, at the 18th Conference the population view recovered centre stage, due to the possibility for healthcare systems to exploit population databases, as well as designing services based on present and future population needs.

Regarding the topics addressed this year, Kronikgune and Osakidetza (the Basque Healthcare System) presented the following projects with speeches, round tables, workshops and posters:

The European project C3-Cloud, funded by Horizon 2020, offered the speech “Management of healthcare plans personalised with clinical guidelines addressing the needs of multi-morbid patients through services supporting clinical decision making”. This project focuses on the preparation of personalised healthcare plans for multi-morbid patients, supported by digital platforms and managed by a co-ordinated multidisciplinary team. Furthermore, the poster featured the work carried out by the Basque Country, Euskadi, where the organisational and care models of the three pilot regions had been analysed to prepare the implementation of the C3-Cloud solution.

In addition, the Scirocco project organised a workshop with the participation of Osakidetza and Kronikgune. This was an opportunity to present the attendees with the potential offered by the SCIROCCO tool which facilitates collaboration and the transfer of knowledge among regions, accelerating the implementation of Integrated Healthcare in Europe. During the session the three European regions of Norrbotten in Sweden, Puglia in Italy and the Basque Country shared their experience with this tool.

Kronikgune also presented the work carried out in the Basque Country as part of the European project ACT@Scale. The speech described the work undertaken by Basque multidisciplinary teams to implement improvements in the care pathways of multi-morbid patients which included activities related to patients and carers’ empowerment. All the Integrated Healthcare Organisations (IHO), Gorliz Hospital, Santa Marina Hospital, the Health Council and Osakidetza Central Services, have been involved in this work.

It is worth highlighting the participation of Kronikgune in the implementation session organised by the European Commission where the transfer of knowledge and good practices between Basque and Scottish regions were addressed. Twinning experiences which took place in 2017 within the EIP on AHA framework focusing on the transfer of knowledge, risk stratification and patient empowerment were shared with the attendees.

Furthermore, Osakidetza also presented some of the projects it is involved in. The “Living Wills” Good Practice implemented in Araba IHO was also described. The study was presented in a speech entitled “The Shared Care Planning Programme: a new model for Advanced Planning of community care integration”. The organisation also presented the following good practices with a speech: “Impact on the use of services and quality of life of an ongoing care unit for multi-morbid patients”; “Multi-dimensional management strategy for patients with complex needs using an integrated organisational model”; and “The impact of a quality empowerment initiative by reducing excessive treatment use in breastfed babies suffering from bronchitis”. Finally, other Osakidetza projects were showcased in the form of posters such as the study carried out by Bidasoa IHO “Impact on the use of services and quality of life of an ongoing care unit for multi-morbid patients”; and, “Integrating cancer healthcare. Our experience in Donostialdea IHO”.

Finally, Bioef presented through poster two Good Practices “IEXPAC, a tool to assess patients’ experiences” and “Public telecare service in the Basque Country”.

If you would like to learn more about what happened at the conference, click here: