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Implementing integrated care: a synthesis of experiences in three European countries

Nolte, Ellen, Frolich, Anne, Hildebrandt, Helmut, Pimperl, Alexander, Schulpen, Guy J. and Vrijhoef, Hubertus J. M. (2016) Implementing integrated care: a synthesis of experiences in three European countries. International Journal of Care Coordination, 19 (1-2). pp. 5-19. ISSN 2053-4345

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Identification Number: 10.1177/2053434516655626


Many countries are experimenting with new models to better integrate care; yet, innovative care models are often implemented as time-limited, localised projects with limited impact on service delivery more broadly. This paper seeks to understand the processes behind successful projects that achieved some form of ‘routinisation’ and informed system-wide integrated care strategies. It draws on detailed case studies of three integrated care experiments: the ‘Integrated effort for people living with chronic diseases’ project in Denmark; the Gesundes Kinzigtal network in Germany; and Zio, a care group in the Maastricht region in the Netherlands. It explores how they were developed, implemented and sustained, and how they impacted the wider system context. All three models implicitly or explicitly adopted processes shown to be conducive to the dissemination of innovations, including dedicated time and resources, support and advocacy, leadership and management, stakeholder involvement, communication and networks, adaptation to local context and feedback. Each showed robust evidence of improvements on a number of service and patient outcomes and these findings were central to their wider impacts, shaping country-wide integrated care polices. However, the wider dissemination of projects occurred in an incremental and somewhat haphazard way. To further redesign health and social care a more formal strategy, alongside resources, may thus be needed to provide funders and providers with genuine incentives to invest in new business models of care. There remains a crucial need for better understanding of specific local conditions that influence implementation and sustainability to enable translation to other contexts and settings.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2016 11:35
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2024 03:06

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