Purpose: The fragmented delivery of health and social services for large groups of patients with chronic conditions was put on the research agenda in 2002 by WHO. The FP7-IHC-project ( www.integratedhomecare.eu) aims to develop a turn-key-solution for better clinical continuity to European health regions.
Method: The general framework of the project is the international concept of health technology assessment (HTA) as implemented in the EUnetHTA Core Model focusing nine analytical domains.
Based on a systematic literature review of trials on integrated care integrated homecare (IHC) is defined and selected as prototype for continued rehabilitation of disabled chronic patients.
Preliminary results: 1) The efficacy of IHC are hypothesized to have a common neuroeconomic explanation in the finding that the blood pressure declines 5–7 mm in your own home compared to a hospital environment which benefits limbic activity. 2) Stroke, COPD and congestive heart failure (HF) are selected as examples of IHC. Complementary trials and surveys are scheduled to consolidate a preliminary hypothesis of IHC as a health economic dominant intervention. 3) Based on a SWOT-analysis a meso-strategy implementing IHC at a regional level is planned to combine the advantages of a goal-directed centralized approach with the adaption to local conditions in a decentralized approach.
Discussion: Clinical and social IHC-network-members are going to be represented as external reviewers at INIC11 in Odense before publication of the final guides and HTA-report.