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Open Access Research article

A survey study to validate a four phases development model for integrated care in the Netherlands

Mirella MN Minkman1*, Robbert P Vermeulen2, Kees TB Ahaus3 and Robbert Huijsman4

Author affiliations

1 Vilans, National Center of Excellence for Long-term care, PO Box 8228, 3503, RE Utrecht, The Netherlands

2 Thorax Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700, RB Groningen, The Netherlands

3 Faculty of Economics and Business, Research Center on Healthcare Organization & Innovation. University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Landleven 5, 9747, AD Groningen, The Netherlands

4 Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000, DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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Citation and License

BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:214  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-214

Published: 13 June 2013

Abstract

Background

The development of integrated care is a complex and long term process. Previous research shows that this development process can be characterised by four phases: the initiative and design phase; the experimental and execution phase; the expansion and monitoring phase and the consolidation and transformation phase. In this article these four phases of the Development Model for Integrated Care (DMIC) are validated in practice for stroke services, acute myocardial infarct (AMI) services and dementia services in the Netherlands.

Methods

Based on the pre-study about the DMIC, a survey was developed for integrated care coordinators. In total 32 stroke, 9 AMI and 43 dementia services in the Netherlands participated (response 83%). Data were collected on integrated care characteristics, planned and implemented integrated care elements, recognition of the DMIC phases and factors that influence development. Data analysis was done by descriptive statistics, Kappa tests and Pearson’s correlation tests.

Results

All services positioned their practice in one of the four phases and confirmed the phase descriptions. Of them 93% confirmed to have completed the previous phase. The percentage of implemented elements increased for every further development phase; the percentage of planned elements decreased for every further development phase. Pearson’s correlation was .394 between implemented relevant elements and self-assessed phase, and up to .923 with the calculated phases (p < .001). Elements corresponding to the earlier phases of the model were on average older. Although the integrated care services differed on multiple characteristics, the DMIC phases were confirmed.

Conclusions

Integrated care development is characterised by a changing focus over time, often starting with a large amount of plans which decrease over time when progress on implementation has been made. More awareness of this phase-wise development of integrated care, could facilitate integrated care coordinators and others to evaluate their integrated care practices and guide further development. The four phases model has the potential to serve as a generic quality management tool for multiple integrated care practices.

Keywords:
Integrated Care; Development Phases; Development Model for Integrated Care