Research Result :: The EU-funded project CommonWell: how to integrate health and social care with ICT
(15/01/2013) CommonWell began as a project of 10 partners in 2008. The aim of the project was to address the lack of integration between healthcare and social care services, which can particularly affect older people, by implementing ICT-based solutions. CommonWell services for integrated eCare were developed and piloted at four sites in Europe: United Kingdom, Germany, Holland and Spain. The four services implemented were: better emergency care through telecare integration in Andalucia, Spain; managed hospital admission for care clients in Bielefeld, Germany; early intervention and telehealth for COPD patients in Milton Keynes, England; and integrated support for heart failure patients in Veldhoven, Netherlands.
The pilot phase of the project ended in early 2012, with the ICT services demonstrating how flexible integration can result in tangible improvements for service users, care professionals and service providers. A common theme in the feedback from patients in each of the different pilots was a greater sense of reassurance and increased confidence in managing their condition. Staff across pilot sites reported that the CommonWell services had a largely positive effect on their job satisfaction, as well as improving speed and efficiency of services.
The British Journal of Healthcare Computing has published the results for the site Milton Keynes: improved quality of life for COPD patients, reduced hospital admissions, reduced visits to GPs and a long-term socioeconomic return of 28%.
CommonWell integrated services are now in real-life operation at the pilot sites. For an example read for Tunstall's press release on the telecare services now extended throughout Andalucía.