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DIGITAL HEALTH EUROPE: Assessing and supporting capacity-building for ICT-enabled integrated care twinning projects


Nieves Ehrenberg Coll

International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC), GB
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Digital Health Europe is funding a twinning scheme that supports the European Commission’s Digital Single Market's three priorities for the Digital Transformation of Health and Care initiative: 1) citizens’ secure access to and sharing of health data across borders 2) better data to advance research, disease prevention and personalised health and care 3) digital tools for citizen empowerment and person-centred care. Up to 45 twinnings opportunities – between more than 90 organisations – will be organised. The activities will take place between September 2019-August 2020. There are four different types of digital solutions supporting the delivery of integrated care twinnings: 1) knowledge exchange 2) adaptation 3) partial adoption and 4) full adoption or acquisition.


To elicit from the twinning sites themselves, particularly the adopters, what their capacity-building requirements and expectations are throughout 2020 to help the DHE team provide the best support possible.


Recognising that both digital maturity and readiness to integrate care services are crucial conditions for the success of the twinning projects, desk-top research was carried out on technology-readiness and capacity-building tools, as well as integrated care maturity and implementation models.

To enable the DHE team to elicit the necessary information it became clear that a ‘tailored’ self-assessment exercise would be required. This was achieved through merging elements of the NHS England Digital Maturity Assessment (for the aspects related to maturity to adopt a digital solution) with components of the main tools currently available to measure maturity to deliver integrated care, in particular the SCIROCCO Maturity Model and the Optimity Advisors’ Health Check Readiness.


A self-assessment exercise was developed to be completed by twinning adopters at the start of the twinning scheme to establish a baseline and then again, at the end of the project (end of 2020) so that the DHE team can assess whether the support provided was useful or not and describe and refine the building blocks for scaling up DH solutions.

Implementation: Adopters will be encouraged to complete the exercise as a team, bringing the key stakeholders involved in the twinning together, rather than as individuals as this will foster collaboration and knowledge exchange from the outset.


Although there are a number of tools and frameworks available which facilitate different types of self-assessment exercises, it is important to understand your project’s specific requirements and develop a tailored approach if necessary.  Any self-assessment should not be seen as a binary checklist, but rather as a key aspect of a programme’s plan. It should be designed to support continuous improvement and facilitate the further enhancement and expansion of digitally-enabled integrated care.  The information gained following the analysis of the completed DHE self-assessment surveys will enable the twinnings to receive tailored capacity building support from project partners.  It is also anticipated that expertise within the twinning sites will be identified through the exercise and shared with other twinnings where appropriate.

How to Cite: Ehrenberg Coll N. DIGITAL HEALTH EUROPE: Assessing and supporting capacity-building for ICT-enabled integrated care twinning projects. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):37. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2021.


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