Call for submission of initiatives towards the coordination/integration of health services delivery (CIHSD) in the WHO European Region

At a high-level meeting in Tallinn, Estonia in October 2013, health ministers and policy experts of the WHO European Region came together to discuss the challenges facing health systems across the Region.

During this meeting, and building on Health 2020 as a guiding principle, a regional workplan was launched to exchange the experiences of Member States locally, regionally and nationally, to improve the coordination/integration of health services. Drawing on lessons learned from the implementation of existing initiatives, this workplan will lead into a Regional Framework for Action towards CIHSD for the WHO European Region. This document intends to support countries with the tools and policy options to improve their health services, and respond to changes in health.

We want to know your experiences with CIHSD

Are you a health care professional connecting with patients at home through tele-health tools? A member of a group practice with a multidisciplinary team of nurses, public health specialists and physiotherapists, among others? Or a health care manager or policy-maker who has led an effort to implement more integrated care through a national strategy or change in legislation?

No matter your role or the scale of the initiative – from local practices or hospital-led efforts to regional and national programmes – we want to hear from you. We invite you to submit a description of a CIHSD initiative you are familiar with from the WHO European Region, using the link below to the questionnaire. Your information will contribute to the development of the Framework for Action towards CIHSD, and we may follow up with you to discuss your experiences in more detail.

What is coordinated/integrated health services delivery (CIHSD)?

Maybe you have heard the term shared or connected care, or perhaps are familiar with ‘care coordinators’ and ‘disease management programmes’. Despite the different labels, these all refer to a common aim: to improve the delivery of health services, so that people can receive the care they need, when they need it, and that inefficiencies or compromised quality, like lost information or the duplication of tests, can be minimized, while patient safety can be strengthened.  Improving the coordination/integration of services can be a useful approach to get services in the right place, at the right time, and when services are provided according to an individual’s preferences and needs: we call that people-centred CIHSD.

What is a CIHSD initiative?

CIHSD initiatives come in many shapes and sizes, from a national electronic health record system integrating patient information across sites and levels of care to a local GP group practice strengthening coordination with public health specialists. These initiatives are defined as the implementation of methods, approaches or programmes to change the way health services are delivered. They take into account the continuum of care and a life-course approach, so that people experience care as a comprehensive set of services delivered from one source.

Other examples of CIHSD initiatives may include: 

  • Disease management programmes (e.g. diabetes or asthma programmes) or case management programmes (e.g. services for people with long-term chronic conditions).
  • The introduction of case or care managers – these are health professionals organizing services for patients between specialists or sites (e.g. from hospital to home care).
  • The co-location of health services, linking across general physicians, specialists, pharmacists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, among other health professionals (e.g. one-stop shop, polyclinics).
  • The pooling of resources and establishment of a common organizational structure to align with the services provided for a specific group of individuals. This grouping may be set according to postcode, where all the health care services in a given neighborhood are funded out of one pot and services can be organized by local health care needs.
  • The coordination and integration of health and social services to better cater to the needs of (frail) elderly people, to enable them to stay at home as long as possible.
  • The strengthening of communities to support home-based care, including the coordination of volunteer services, mobile care teams and family caregivers.

If you have any questions, please contact us at: Hardcopies of the questionnaire can be made available upon request.