Real integrated healthcare

Portugal – National Coordinator, Mr. Francisco Antonio Matoso.

The presenters were Anna Aller Blanco, Spain, Arkadiusz Makoski, Poland, Amelia Da Silva Bigot France, Gillian Southgate, UK, Eva Cela, Latvia and Lone Larsen. Sweden.

They said their health innovations were a National Health Data Platform, (PDS), an Electronic Medical Prescription, (PEM), interdisciplinary care planning for frequent visitors to ER and integrated healthcare in the local health unit of Matosinhos.

They said PDS was a national digital system of sharing health data and PEM was an electronic prescription system that sent the prescription to the patient, via SMS. PEM was integrated with PDS so that the medical record showed all medical interventions.

They were impressed by PDS because it provided an electronic medical and pharmaceutical history of the patient to all health organisations in Portugal, it sped up medical intervention, prevented duplication in the system, provided accurate statistics and up to date information and was moving towards a paperless system. There were 35,000 daily accesses to the professional portal and approximately 2.3 million on line appointments for consultations requested through the portal. It was used by 10,000 doctors per day and generated 250,000 prescriptions per day, accounting for more than 70% of daily prescriptions registered in Portugal.

PEM provided interdisciplinary care planning for frequent visitors to ER. Teams from primary and hospital care would meet the patient to work out an integrated plan. The focus of this plan was the patient’s needs how they could be better supported and if there were alternatives to the ER.

The integrated health plan increased the quality of life for the patients , acted in time in case of deterioration of chronic disease, decreased the number of visits in ER and in-patient days and increased the efficiency of healthcare.

In the local health unit of Matosinhos, integrated care provided a strategic and operational alignment, leading to a single management for the different dimensions from production, financing and performance evaluation, focusing on the patients and their real health needs. Primary healthcare centres acted as gatekeepers, promoting health and preventing avoidable diseases.

A typical day at the LHU included 2,174 primary healthcare medical appointments, 1,101 hospital outpatient appointments, 37 patients in day surgery, four births, 47 day hospital sessions, 235 accident & emergency attendances, 48 hospital discharges and 20 surgical operations.

“All our innovations are inter-connected with a primary focus of sharing information efficiently and accurately with the patient care at the centre,” they concluded.