Integrated Care in Europe: New Models of Management of Chronic Patients

Integrated Care in Europe: New Models of Management of Chronic Patients

Francisco Ródenas (Polibienestar Research Institute – University of Valencia, Spain), Jorge Garcés (Polibienestar Research Institute – University of Valencia, Spain), Elisa Valía (Polibienestar Research Institute – University of Valencia, Spain) and Ascensión Doñate (Polibienestar Research Institute – University of Valencia, Spain)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch048

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Europe is currently facing a scene characterized by the necessity to cope several kinds of social challenges (Garcés & Monsonis-Payá, 2013); firstly, the well-known socio-demographic change, which prognosticates a notable increase of elders as a share of the global population. Thus, according to The 2012 Ageing Report (European Commission, 2012) the population aged 65 and above from the European Union will almost double, rising from 87.5 million in 2010 to around 160 million in 2060. Also, the number of older people aged 80 years and above is projected to increase by even more, almost tripling from 23.7 million in 2010 to over 65 million in 2060.

Elderly people often suffer chronic diseases or comorbidity – as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases or stroke –, which entail the need of provision of LTC, with high health needs and costs (Geneau et al., 2010). According to the World Health Organization chronic conditions are by far the main cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths (WHO, 2005); and, for example in Spain their care accounts for 70% of the healthcare expenditure (García-Goñi et al., 2012). This complex situation is worsening – in some countries more notably than in others around Europe – by the current context of austerity and fiscal policies triggered by the economic crisis (Ifanti et al., 2013). Governments and entities are searching measures aimed to assure the efficiency and sustainability of public systems, without having a negative impact on the quality of the care provision to patients.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Sustainability: The first principle of the Social Sustainable Healthcare Model, which takes on the value of solidarity between generations, and is legitimized ethically through a wider and deeper re-analysis of the fundamental social values of freedom and equality: a) freedom and responsibility, insofar as our present freedom implies the responsibility of taking into account our successors in our actions or the conditions of life we nurture; b) equality of rights and obligations, as a consequence of our actions, no present or future citizen should have their freedom, their options or their decision taking capacity impaired.

LTCMAS (Long-Term Care Multi-Agent Systems): LTCMAS is a simulator that, as a starting point, used a holistic model of care systems for people that need long-term care, the Sustainable Socio-Health Model (SSHM). The implementation of the simulator on the Jason multi-agent platform allows the tool to include human interactions, preferences and social abilities that take place between older people and the staff of healthcare systems (health and social workers). The closed-loop design of the proposed simulator permits repeated simulation of successive interactions of the target population with the healthcare system.

Integrated Care: The integration of care entails a coherent and coordinated services delivery to individual service users across a board range of health and social care organizations, different professionals and informal caregivers.

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