France faces a health dilemma that confronts most developed nations: an aging population living with a range of chronic diseases. The country is urgently seeking innovative solutions that will help the healthcare system evolve from dealing with acute care to implementing prevention programs that take into account chronic conditions and identify patients before they become high risk.
By Cécile Mico, Customer Relationship Executive, Healthcare, CSC
With these goals in mind, the French health ministry asked all 20 regions in France to submit a coordinated care project based on some ministry guidelines. The program was to be built around a territory of around 300,000 people. The ministry then selected five regions whose district health solutions were most innovative, and provided those regions with the finances to implement their solution. The final step will be an evaluation of the five projects in order to decide how to extend to the entire country.
One of the five regions to be selected was Burgundy, which is working with CSC on a population health enablement program that initially targets a population of 350,000. The program, known as eTICSS (Territoire Innovant Coordonné Santé Social or Innovative Social Care Coordination) seeks to tackle the specific challenges facing the region – a low-density, largely rural population that struggles with a shortage of healthcare practitioners and a lack of coordination that often leads to the inappropriate use of hospitals.
Addressing Population Needs
The region has identified several major health challenges that need to be addressed more holistically: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, disability issues for the elderly, and psychiatric issues facing young adults, adolescents and other isolated adults.
Much of the population in the region is older and more isolated, and tend be less engaged with their own healthcare and less aware of the healthcare options available to them. Equally, there is need for greater support for healthcare professionals in this environment. The priorities with the eTICSS program are to:
- Create an environment where the patient can remain connected with healthcare professionals and engaged in their health
- Promote home support for patients
- Improve collaboration and coordination between healthcare professionals to ensure patient information is shared as required
- Enable better coordination of patient appointments
- Offer solutions to the problems frequently encountered by healthcare professionals.
Technology is recognized as an integral enabler to help achieve these goals. Even amongst older, more isolated people, the majority do use technologies such as smartphones to stay in touch with their families. The eTICSS solution, which will leverage next-generation digital technologies developed by CSC and Orion Health, will reach out to patients through their smartphones to educate them about their conditions and how to stay healthy, and to help them to monitor their health.
The eTICSS project is a global technology solution that will be integrated with existing solutions. This approach will enable healthcare professionals to share information concerning patients – a capability that until now has been extremely difficult due to the fact that there are so many disconnected solutions in place. By creating a global solution, healthcare professionals will be able to share information seamlessly, rather than rely on phone calls or other less structured ways of coordinating and communicating.
During 2016, the project will initiate service coordination and in 2017 the goal is to expand the service to mobile devices and to strengthen connectivity. In addition to improving healthcare coordination, the initiative is expected to improve resources in the Burgundy region and create new employment opportunities.
To learn more at eTICSS, visit CSC booth #E79 at the HealthIT Expo 2016 in Paris from May 24 to 26.