ICPC2015 Closing remarks

At the closing of the ICPC2015, prof. Sermeus gave an overview of developments and challenges, and E-P-A’s role in advancing care pathways. He used the model for managing complex change by T. Knoster as structure:


The participants of the conference share the same vision on care pathways: they are more than pieces of paper, or guidelines. It is a multidisciplinary, patient centered approach to improving patient care. Across boundaries and focused on continuity, quality and safety of care.
It is E-P-A’s role to inspire the healthcare community about this vision for the future.

Care pathways are about science, about research. Methods are well developed. But implementation, changing behavior is more difficult and takes time.
The core business of E-P-A is to stimulate and develop the science/methods to integrate health service and clinical research.

Care pathways are traditionally started for more implicit reasons: improving patient care. There is a shift no to more explicit reasons: cost effectiveness, link with DRG’s, pay for quality, …. Involvement of various stakeholders (patients, institutional level, policy makers, professionals,…).
E-P-A has a role in sharing the work on care pathways with healthcare policy makers and stakeholders.

Developing and implementing care pathways requires resources, a structure, support. For example for research. There were many good examples of this at the conference. However, at this moment there is a lot of emphasis om clinical research. For effective care pathways, implementation is just as important as the correct clinical content. More emphasis on implementation research will be necessary.
E-P-A has a role in influencing policy makers and funders for providing funds for this type of research

Action Plan
To really have a major impact on quality and safety of patient care, we need to share knowledge on success as well as negative stories. This is what E-P-A was founded for: share knowledge, tools, ideas, provide education and training, and stimulate research.
E-P-A can play a major role in this a network-of-networks!

Professor Panella summed up the three priorities for the near future:

  • Invest in clinical and health service research
  • Include the diagnostic phase in care pathways
  • Involve stakeholders to ensure equity of care

We will keep you updated on our initiatives! The presentation of the conference will be available to participants from November 13 on http://www.asmn.re.it/PDTA2015