The European Commission (EC) is supporting Member States develop European Reference Networks (ERNs) to link existing highly specialised healthcare providers across the European Union.
Healthcare providers both willing to form a Network and having the endorsement of their Member States, are invited to apply for the call for ERNs. The assessment process for proposing Networks and memberships is based on the regulatory framework of the European Commission Delegated Decision (2014/286/EU) and Implementing Decisions (2014/287/EU) of 10 March 2014. These include compulsory criteria and conditions Network applicants have to fulfil.
Here you will find documents that provide further information regarding the assessment process.
A mapping exercise was done to get valuable information concerning the state of play and methodologies related with the EU and national models and practices of designation and assessment of highly specialized healthcare providers.
It consisted of four specific elements: a) systematic literature review, b) review of benchmark procedures, standards, criteria, scoring systems, policies, procedures, processes, award or decision guidelines, audit processes and methodologies, c) written consultation questionnaire survey of Member States and d) on-site visits to a sample of 10 Member States.
The key findings that have been captured are that there is broad variability in the organisation of services of highly specialised healthcare providers, centres of expertise and their supporting clinical networks in existing national or regional healthcare systems and there is wide variability in the maturity of the existing assessment programmes within each health system. Therefore care pathways and coordination, expertise, clinical competency, quality data and measurements, patient safety and governance are among the key themes that must be addressed in the assessment of the ERN.
Further information can be found in the following documents: ERN Literature, ERN EU-National designation and assessment practices.