How to support integration to promote care for people with multimorbidity in Europe?



Anneli Hujala, Helena Taskinen, Sari Rissanen. On behalf of the ICARE4EU consortium

The complex care needs of people with multimorbidity heighten the demand for integrated care. This policy brief identifies the most promising service arrangements for integrated care and examines how to support coordination and promote collaboration between care professionals and, strengthen professional competencies. Key messages include that:

  • Primary care is often the most appropriate base for initiatives but must be supported by specialized care.
  • Effective connections between health and social care are key and should be an explicit policy objective, while links between formal and informal care must also be a part of any holistic approach.
  • Policy-makers and providers trying to move care towards integration and achieve efficient care coordination should:
    • Promote a culture of information sharing supported by technology that allows information to be shared easily across organizational, professional and status boundaries and at a distance
    • Tailor models of care to fit the specific national (regional or local) health and social care context
    • Make sure new initiatives are treated as part of regular care and, not separate from the everyday work of professionals
    • Encourage management commitment at all levels with training in the necessary skills to facilitate this.