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Poster Abstracts

Understanding Your Integration Journey: Overview and Lessons Learned from HSO's Integrated Care Assessment Tool


Samantha Laxton ,

Health Standards Organization, CA
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Jennifer Wilkie,

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Kasia Bruski

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In May 2021, Health Standards Organization (HSO) launched the HSO Integrated People-Centred Health Systems (IPCHS) Standard. It is intended to guide implementation of integrated care initiatives.

When engaging stakeholders in developing the IPCHS Standard (including patients, policy makers, and service providers), HSO heard that many systems around the world that given its aspirational nature and the maturity of many integration initiatives, there is a need for a process and/or tool that can help health systems identify their current state towards implementing integrated care and therefore clarify next steps for implementation.

Aims Objectives Theory or Methods

In response to this need, HSO has developed a pilot Integrated Care Assessment Tool (ICA) informed by the IPCHS Standard. The aim of the ICA is to help systems understand their integration progress to date on a spectrum from “Co-exist” to” Integrated” and therefore clarify their goals and priority next steps for implementation. Other anticipated benefits of the tool include understanding roadblocks and closing the gap between design and practice.

The development of the pilot ICA was guided by a cross disciplinary expert panel that included balanced representation from patients, policy makers, service providers, health professionals, and researchers.

Highlights or Results or Key Findings

To pilot the ICA, HSO has convened a collaborative of six integrated networks across Canada aimed at improving integrated care for youth mental health and addiction services. Each network is at a different state of maturity and scale, ranging from small community start-ups to provincial programs that have been in place for several years. The ICA is being piloted with the networks from June-October 2021.

Anticipated areas of feedback and lessons learned include:

•           Common network integration challenges and roadblocks

•           Identification of integration leading practices among the networks

•           Techniques for how to effectively engage clients and patients in the assessment

•           Tool design and functionality

•           Appropriate assessment delivery methods (via conversational facilitation or self-assessment)

•           Capacity building techniques for self assessment

•           Assessment content

It is anticipated that at the time of the NACIC conference, HSO will be able to share these lessons learned.


Becoming a learning system is an important function of an integrated care network. This requires regular assessment against evidence informed practices as part of continuous improvement activities. Therefore, HSO’s ICA provides networks with an opportunity to further the successful implementation of their integration goals through regular evidence-informed assessment of integration.

Implications for applicability/transferability sustainability and limitations

HSO’s ICA is intended to be customizable to a network’s needs. As such, it is neutral in nature with respect to population focus, geography, and local context. Also, it can be utilized by policy makers, and/or service providers.

HSO is intending to finalize and launch the ICA for use internationally.

How to Cite: Laxton S, Wilkie J, Bruski K. Understanding Your Integration Journey: Overview and Lessons Learned from HSO's Integrated Care Assessment Tool. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S2):191. DOI:
Published on 16 May 2022.


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