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ICIC 2019: How to evaluate, implement and scaling up integrated care models successfully

ICICMore the fourteen hundred researchers, managers, physicians and policymakers got together at the 19th International Conference of Integrated Care. Photo: OptiMedisThe 19th International Conference of Integrated Care took place in San Sebastian, Basque Country. For three days, more the fourteen hundred researchers, managers, physicians and policymakers got together to learn and discuss around the overarching theme “Evaluating and implement models of integrated people-centred services.”

Key topics of the conferences were the person-centred approach in health, the empowering of people and communities to become active agents in health systems, and the understanding of the vital impact digital health represents to support real integration.

OptiMedis had active participation in the event: Dr Oliver Gröne, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of the company, hosted a successful workshop entitled “Evaluation of Integrated Care: Ensuring Rigor, Scaling Up, Scaling Out” with presentations from Dr Eva Oppel from the Hamburg Centre of Health Economics and Dr. Mary Alison Durand from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. An enriching dialog environment resulted in concrete ideas to overcome the challenges that Integrated Care has had to expand into more initiatives at regional and national levels. Dr. Gröne also chaired the session “Incentivising Integrated Service Provision II: Learning from International Innovations in Funding and Financing” and spoke at the workshop of capacity building and technical support for implementing integrated care hosted by the EU. Timo Schulte, Head of Health Data Analytics & IT of OptiMedis, spoke on the topic of preventing ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations at the session ‘Incentivising Integrated Service Provision: Learning from International Innovations in Funding and Financing’.

Finally, Dr Nuria Toro from the World Health Organization, keynote speaker at the plenary “WHO Framework on integrated people-centred health services”, and Prof Stephen M. Shortell from the University of Berkelely, keynote speaker at the plenary on “Adopting and implementing innovations to create high performing health systems”, highlighted the model of Gesundes Kinzigtal as a successful experience of Integrated Care.

Results from Act@Scale – A handbook has been published

ActatscaleACT@Scale has emphasized its primary focus on implementation and scaling up at this year’s ICIC. It has provided key learnings and valuable results when it comes to scaling integrated care in EU.
In a final workshop “Pioneers of Integrated Care in Europe: Consolidating and sharing “good practice” for upscaling Care Coordination” the results based on the three years practical experience have been presented.

The project builds on the expertise and successful experiences of the ACT program, leveraging tested collaborative methods and tools to implement improvements, and is fully aligned with the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Aging (EIP on AHA) objectives to deploy integrated care for chronically ill patients. The EU-sponsored project comprises 16 partners from eight EU countries, including 14 programs in six regions. OptiMedis has worked together with the University of Groningen to develop business plans for the pilot projects, in order to support sustainable implementation and adaptation in other regions. In collaboration with Gesundes Kinzigtal GmbH (which is also one of the project partners) we also evaluated the impact of the Kinzigtal intervention programmes "Gesundheitsberatung" ("Health Counselling") and "Trainingswelt" ("Training World"), for which the so-called "Quality Improvement Collaboratives" have been implemented.

In addition ACT@Scale has published a Handbook that gathers all the experiences and results from the past three years, in order to support the knowledge transfer across Europe and beyond.

For more information on ACT@Scale, visit and download the full ACT@Scale handbook of best practice analysis and results here.