Brussels has become a meeting point for European regions and market leaders, who have discussed how technology, innovation and new means of cooperation can become an opportunity for major demographic change in Europe.
In 2013 the Basque Country was named as a European Reference Site due to its work on an integrated, innovation-based approach to active and healthy ageing and its work on the search for proactive care systems with a population-based approach.
The Basque Regional Government’s Department of Health has formed part of the European EIP-AHA Partnership’s working groups since 2012, and on this occasion has been selected to present two of its best practices at the European summit. These best practices have already been put into place in the Basque health system and were explained and shared at a stand as part of the “care and cure” concept.
One of the “best practices” selected is the Healthcare Advice service, a telephone-based care service provided to the general public by Osakidetza 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service comprises a nursing team specialising in telephone-based care which, on the basis of pre-established protocols, answers questions put to it by users with regard to health problems, symptoms or treatments; recommends and provides short-term actions and/or advice and performs follow-up of patients with chronic diseases or upon discharge from hospital according to pre-set guidelines.
This nursing team has access to the patient’s medical records and Osakidetza‘s IT systems; therefore all information compiled during the telephone conversation is included in the medical records of all users who identify themselves during the call. This allows coordination and integrated care between all healthcare professionals. Users can access the Healthcare Advice service either by telephone or via Osakidetza’s official web page.
The second best practice to be presented is the Health Dossier. This is a new model of interaction between the general public and the health system implemented by the Basque Regional Government’s Department of Health in 2013. One of the most important characteristics of this tool is the direct connection of the health dossier with Osakidetza’s IT system, which means that patients can access their information anywhere via the web The functionalities offered include allowing the patient to download clinical documentation, the interchange of messages with doctors, the inclusion of comments from the patient in the clinical evaluation, the creation of a summary of the medical records as a QR code or the ability to apply questionnaires to patients for follow-up. A demonstration of the usability of the Health Dossier, to explain how it is used and how it works, will be provided for all delegates and interested parties at the European EIP-AHA Summit.
The summit was also the stage on which the most recent progress in the Carewell project, a European project jointly led by Osakidetza and Kronikgune, focussing on the development of new integrated care pathways for multiply co-morbid patients using information systems and technologies, was presented.
Finally, the Head of Healthcare Research and Innovation, María Aguirre, closed her talk in Brussels by inviting delegates to a working lunch in which opinions were exchanged with other European regions and countries such as Denmark and Sweden.