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      The Epital Care Model: A New Person-Centered Model of Technology-Enabled Integrated Care for People With Long Term Conditions

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          Abstract

          Background

          There is worldwide recognition that the future provision of health care requires a reorganization of provision of care, with increased empowerment and engagement of patients, along with skilled health professionals delivering services that are coordinated across sectors and organizations that provide health care. Technology may be a way to enable the creation of a coherent, cocreative, person-centered method to provide health care for individuals with one or more long-term conditions (LTCs). It remains to be determined how a new care model can be introduced that supports the intentions of the World Health Organization (WHO) to have integrated people-centered care.

          Objective

          To design, pilot, and test feasibility of a model of health care for people with LTCs based on a cocreative, iterative, and stepwise process in a way that recognizes the need for person-centered care, and embraces the use of digital technology.

          Methods

          The overall research method was inspired by action research and used an agile, iterative approach. In 2012, a living lab was established in a Danish municipality which allowed for the freedom of redesigning health care processes. As the first step, a wide group of stakeholders was gathered to create a layout for the reorganization of services and development of technology, based on established principles for innovative management of people with chronic conditions. The next three steps were (1) a proof of concept in 2012, (2) a pilot study, and (3) a feasibility study from 2013 to 2015, in which a total of 93 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients were enrolled. Citizens were provided a tablet-based solution for remote follow-up and communication purposes, and access to a 24/7 response and coordination center that coordinated both virtual and face-to-face support for COPD management. In step five the initial model was extended with elements that support continuity of care. Beginning in the autumn of 2013, 1102 frail elderly individuals were included and offered two additional services: an outgoing acute medical team and a local subacute bed function.

          Results

          Based on the findings from the iterative process, and evolving technology and workflow solutions, we propose a robust and feasible model that can provide a framework for developing solutions to support an active life with one or more LTCs. The resulting Epital Care Model (ECM) consists of six stages, and serves as a template for how a digitally-enhanced health service can be provided based on patients’ medical needs. The model is designed to be a proactive, preventive, and monitoring health care system that involves individuals in the management of their own health conditions.

          Conclusions

          The ECM is in accordance with WHO’s framework for integrated people-centered health services, and may serve as a framework for the development of new technologies and provide a template for future reorganization.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Organizing care for patients with chronic illness.

          Usual medical care often fails to meet the needs of chronically ill patients, even in managed, integrated delivery systems. The medical literature suggests strategies to improve outcomes in these patients. Effective interventions tend to fall into one of five areas: the use of evidence-based, planned care; reorganization of practice systems and provider roles; improved patient self-management support; increased access to expertise; and greater availability of clinical information. The challenge is to organize these components into an integrated system of chronic illness care. Whether this can be done most efficiently and effectively in primary care practice rather than requiring specialized systems of care remains unanswered.
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            Telehealthcare for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Cochrane Review and meta-analysis.

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is common. Telehealthcare, involving personalised health care over a distance, is seen as having the potential to improve care for people with COPD. To systematically review the effectiveness of telehealthcare interventions in COPD to improve clinical and process outcomes. Cochrane Systematic Review of randomised controlled trials. The study involved searching the Cochrane Airways Group Register of Trials, which is derived from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, embase, and CINAHL, as well as searching registers of ongoing and unpublished trials. Randomised controlled trials comparing a telehealthcare intervention with a control intervention in people with a clinical diagnosis of COPD were identified. The main outcomes of interest were quality of life and risk of emergency department visit, hospitalisation, and death. Two authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted data. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias method. Meta-analysis was undertaken using fixed effect and/or random effects modelling. Ten randomised controlled trials were included. Telehealthcare did not improve COPD quality of life: mean difference -6.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -13.62 to 0.48). However, there was a significant reduction in the odds ratios (ORs) of emergency department attendance (OR = 0.27; 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.66) and hospitalisation (OR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.33 to 0.65). There was a non-significant change in the OR of death (OR = 1.05; 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.75). In COPD, telehealthcare interventions can significantly reduce the risk of emergency department attendance and hospitalisation, but has little effect on the risk of death.
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              Enhancing the Effectiveness of Consumer-Focused Health Information Technology Systems Through eHealth Literacy: A Framework for Understanding Users' Needs

              Background eHealth systems and applications are increasingly focused on supporting consumers to directly engage with and use health care services. Involving end users in the design of these systems is critical to ensure a generation of usable and effective eHealth products and systems. Often the end users engaged for these participatory design processes are not actual representatives of the general population, and developers may have limited understanding about how well they might represent the full range of intended users of the eHealth products. As a consequence, resulting information technology (IT) designs may not accommodate the needs, skills, cognitive capacities, and/or contexts of use of the intended broader population of health consumers. This may result in challenges for consumers who use the health IT systems, and could lead to limitations in adoption if the diversity of user attributes has not been adequately considered by health IT designers. Objective The objective of this paper is to propose how users’ needs and competences can be taken into account when designing new information and communications technology solutions in health care by expanding the user-task-context matrix model with the domains of a new concept of eHealth literacy. Methods This approach expands an existing method for supporting health IT system development, which advocates use of a three-dimensional user-task-context matrix to comprehensively identify the users of health IT systems, and what their needs and requirements are under differing contexts of use. The extension of this model involved including knowledge about users’ competences within the seven domains of eHealth literacy, which had been identified based on systematic engagement with computer scientists, academics, health professionals, and patients recruited from various patient organizations and primary care. A concept map was constructed based on a structured brainstorm procedure, card sorting, and computational analysis. Results The new eHealth literacy concept (based on 7 domains) was incorporated as a key factor in expanding the user-task-context matrix to describe and qualify user requirements and understanding related to eHealth literacy. This resulted in an expanded framework and a five-step process, which can support health IT designers in understanding and more accurately addressing end-users’ needs, capabilities, and contexts to improve effectiveness and broader applicability of consumer-focused health IT systems. It is anticipated that the framework will also be useful for policy makers involved in the planning, procuring, and funding of eHealth infrastructure, applications, and services. Conclusions Developing effective eHealth products requires complete understanding of the end-users’ needs from multiple perspectives. In this paper, we have proposed and detailed a framework for modeling users’ needs for designing eHealth systems that merges prior work in development of a user-task-context matrix with the emerging area of eHealth literacy. This framework is intended to be used to guide design of eHealth technologies and to make requirements explicitly related to eHealth literacy, enabling a generation of well-targeted, fit-for-purpose, equitable, and effective products and systems.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                ResProt
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                1929-0748
                January 2017
                16 January 2017
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                1Department of Internal Medicine Q, Bispebjerg Frederiksberg University Hospital CopenhagenDenmark
                2Aalborg University AalborgDenmark
                3Section of Social Medicine Department of Public Health University of Copenhagen CopenhagenDenmark
                4The Municipality of Lyngby-Taarbaek LyngbyDenmark
                5EmpowerMind Danmark SøborgDenmark
                6Norwegian Center for eHealth Research University Hospital of North Norway TromsøNorway
                7School of Health Sciences City, University of London LondonUnited Kingdom
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Lars Kayser lk@ 123456sund.ku.dk
                Article
                v6i1e6
                10.2196/resprot.6506
                5282450
                28093379
                4f31d242-9b8e-4a13-920e-3fdfe23f0ca5
                ©Klaus Phanareth, Søren Vingtoft, Anders Skovbo Christensen, Jakob Sylvest Nielsen, Jørgen Svenstrup, Gro Karine Rosvold Berntsen, Stanton Peter Newman, Lars Kayser. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 16.01.2017.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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