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Guest Blogger: O+Berri Reviews the Healthcare Innovation Expo

March 23, 2011

On March 9th & 10th, three representatives of O+Berri (The Basque Institute for Healthcare Innovation) attended the NHS Healthcare Innovation Expo.

O+Berri aims to be a platform for ongoing innovation in the Basque Healthcare System, committed, through excellence, to the continuous development of its organisational systems.

From that perspective, we had a great chance to learn how innovative ideas can improve patient care and increase efficiency in the NHS. During the two days of the Innovation Expo we attended really interesting seminars and listened to many speakers covering a wide range of topics from GP commissioning, productivity, Innovation in Primary care, patient empowerment, integrated care pathways, innovation using technology, stratification, or innovation from the frontline among many others.

Now, we need to put some of the lessons learnt into practice in the Basque Chronic patients strategy that was designed and launched last year to respond to the needs generated by the phenomena of chronicity in all affected groups: chronic patients and their carers, healthcare workers, and citizens in general.

The Strategy proposes moving to a model of organization which is more proactive in order to ensure:

• That patients have the confidence and the skills to manage their illness.

• That patients receive care that includes optimum monitoring of their illness and prevents complications.

• That there is a continuous monitoring system both remote and face-to-face.

• That the patients have a care plan, which has been mutually agreed with health professionals, with which to control their illness.

The strategy consists of 5 main policies, expected to be implemented through 14 projects in the next 3 years. These are the projects:

1. Stratification and targeting of the population.

2. Interventions aimed at the principal risk factors.

3. Self-care and patient education: e.g. the Active Patient Program.

4. Setting up a network of activated patients, connected through web 2.0 with the patient associations.

5. Integrated electronic health record.

6. Integrated care.

7. Development of sub-acute hospitals.

8. Advanced nursing competencies.

9. Healthcare – Social Services collaboration.

10. Financing and contracting.

11. Multi-channel centre.

12. E-prescription.

13. Chronic illness research centre.

14. Innovation from the professionals

Our visit to the healthcare Innovation Expo has given us new and fresh ideas to improve the implementation of these 14 projects in the Basque Healthcare System. Among the topics and seminars that we attended and have direct correlation to the Basque Chronic patients strategy we can mention for example the ones that define how to promote innovation from the frontline, how to scalate innovative practices, innovation in primary care or how to engage patients in their own care to mention just a few.

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