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People-centred care in action: the world’s first integrated care standard for system, organization and community-level health care


Alyssa Bryan

Accreditation Canada and Health Standards Organization, CA
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Health and social services systems around the world are moving towards more integrated ways of working across their local health ecosystems. However, there is no-one-size-fits-all approach. Effective integration requires health and social services to organize and manage across sectors and organizational boundaries, so people receive coordinated and comprehensive care at the right time, by the right provider, in the right place. So how do leaders tackle integration, especially during times of change? What is the first step? What and who needs to be involved?


Join Health Standards Organization (HSO) Program Manager, Standards, Alyssa Bryan to learn how the power of people can bring integrated care (IC) to life. Attendees will learn how system leaders are beginning to adopt the 76000:2019, Integrated People-Centred Health Systems (IPCHS) standard at the policy and operational levels to support transformational change and improve quality and outcomes for all.

Evidence shows that IC can only be realized through engaging, mobilizing, inspiring, and empowering people, families, providers and communities. Integration is context driven; it requires strength in relationships, resources and priority alignment across health and social service ecosystems. As such, woven throughout the standard is criteria on partnering with people, which acts as foundation from which to build a successful integrated health system.

HSO’s unique approach to standard development starts with people. The standard’s creation began with a Technical Committee (TC) comprised of patients and families, subject matter experts, researchers, policy makers and advisors – all of whom share an equal voice.


Next, the process included a literature review based on international best practices, guided by the TC. The rigorous process included two public reviews, as well as targeted stakeholder consultations that involved more than 30 interviews with health leaders including government officials, administers, health and social services authorities, providers, patients and caregivers.


The TC reviewed and incorporated every piece of feedback submitted from around the world. The result? A globally relevant, locally customizable integrated care standard that equips decision-makers with criteria and guidelines to plan, implement and assess the coordination of services and supports across continuums of care. Specific policy and operational guidelines that can be used to drive action at both system levels toward a common vision and goal, regardless of population type or jurisdiction. 


One limitation of the standard is that it does not include the micro level of integrated care for mapping specific pathways like bipolar (mental health). However, when organizations and health systems create an integrated foundation, the ten design principles can be applied to facilitate these mini integrated networks for complex conditions within a larger health system. Additionally, teams are currently exploring how the IC standard will be used for assessment.  


From this session, attendees will learn how they can leverage the IPCHS standard to coordinate with policymakers, organizations and health systems to respond to population-based health needs. They will learn examples of teams who are working to deliver health and social services to address complex health conditions. Leave this session feeling inspired to embark or continue towards people-centred, integrated care.

How to Cite: Bryan A. People-centred care in action: the world’s first integrated care standard for system, organization and community-level health care. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):120. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2021.


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