International Journal of Integrated Care, 22 December 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156

Ladies and gentlemen!

Based on the needs of the patients, processes within the health care system ought to be designed in such a way that promotion and prevention, diagnosis, care, rehabilitation and long-term care are administered in the adequate sequence, from the adequate service in adequate time with assured quality and with the maximum outcome possible.

In the pressure zone of demographic development, economic restraints and growing quality demands the efficient and effective management of patient care gains in importance, especially at the interfaces of care systems and sectors.

Integrated Care has been defined as an integral and binding target concept for health policy between the federal and regional governments, the social security institutions and the service providers in Austria. The strategic planning of a patient-oriented service provision encompasses all care sectors. High quality and cost-effectiveness of each sector are aligned with the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall system.

A relocation of services from the in-patient to the out-patient or extra-mural setting not only requires a differentiated organisational planning, but also exacts high demands on the service and care quality of the out-patient sector. In turn, this asks for a standardised and hence comparable level of service quality for patients.

This conference offers the possibility of getting to know concepts and models of integrated care and to learn about current projects and outcomes. Moreover, developments in the management of chronic diseases and the coordination between health and social services will be presented, as will existing evidence for integrated care models.

Thus, I wish the INIC09, which is taking place in a German-speaking country for the first time, much success and many sustainable outcomes which will then hopefully be transferred into practice, as well.

9th Annual Integrated Care Conference, Vienna, Austria, 3–6 November 2009