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Organizing Integration of Care – Results from Project CORTEXS


Ezra Dessers ,

KU Leuven, BE
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Hubertus J.M. Vrijhoef,

NUS, Singapore; VUB, Belgium, BE
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Sylvie Boermans,

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Melissa Desmedt,

UHasselt, BE
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Sam Pless,

KU Leuven, BE
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Steven Van den Oord,

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Nick Verhaeghe,

UGent, BE
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Geert Van Hootegem

KU Leuven, BE
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Introduction: In November 2013, a 4-year research project on integrated care in Flanders (Belgium) was launched: “Care Organisation: a Re-Thinking EXpedition in search for Sustainability” (CORTEXS). Expertise on management, organization sciences, social innovation, patient participation, health law, patient safety, care quality and health economics was brought together. CORTEXS closely cooperates with over 30 stakeholders from policy and practice. The project will end in Octobre 2017. The multidisciplinary research team focuses on the fundamental challenge which many care systems face: how to organize care integration? The CORTEXS team developed a social systems based approach for redesigning care systems, resulting in a comprehensive framework of redesign principles, contextual preconditions, and care system performances. We submitted a proposal for an oral presentation in a plenary session, where we plan to present this comprehensive framework:

Dessers E. e.a., Organizing integration of care: a social systems based approach. Results from Project CORTEXS (Flanders, Belgium).

The framework is based on extensive theoretical and empirical work that has been done by the CORTEXS researchers over the past years. The main goal of this special symposium session is to present some major results from the various CORTEXS substudies, followed by Q&A and discussion. The presence of a broad delegation of eight CORTEXS research team members, including the project coordinators, will assure extensive and in-depth coverage of the different aspects of the CORTEXS research project.

Theory/Methods: A comprehensive research design was developed to integrate multiple disciplines, methods and levels of analysis, and to support both theory- and action-based research. Integrated care was studied from the micro-level of care recipients and their informal caregivers, over the meso-level of intra- and inter-organizational processes, to the macro-level of legal and financial frameworks. At each level, the most appropriate research methods are applied, including document analysis, process mapping, network analysis, legal analysis, comparative case analysis, economic modeling, and patient and care worker surveys. Results from the various substudies are integrated trough social lab sessions, business canvas model exercises, and simulation gaming in order to explore future options for realizing care integration. Furthermore, CORTEXS actively stimulates transfer, exploitation and utilization of the research results.

Results: The session aims to group the following oral presentations (which have been submitted separately via the conference submission tool).

The first two presentations are on redesign principles, within organizations and organizational networks.

Pless S., e.a., Analyzing Task Division, Coordination and Continuity of Care in Care Processes. A Comparative Case Study of four Specialized Multiple Sclerosis Hospitals [CORTEXS]

van den Oord S., e.a., The Governance, Structure and Management Processes of an Emergent Goal-directed Organizational Network: an Evaluation of a Configurational Framework of Goal-directed Networks.

The next two presentations focus on preconditions for redesigning care systems, in the field of financial incentives and information technology.

Verhaeghe N., e.a., Financial Incentives for Integrated Care for People with Chronic Conditions in Belgium: a Qualitative Study within the CORTEXS Research Project

Boermans S., e.a., Information technologies and patient engagement for in integrated care: Lessons from an international comparison for the CORTEXS-project.

The fifth presentation is about care system performance, in terms of care quality and safety.

Desmedt M., e.a., Quality and Safety of Chronic Illness Care through Patients’ Eyes (CORTEXS).

The final presentation deals with the application of the CORTEXS redesign principles for reorganizing mental health care networks.

Van Hootegem G., e.a., Organizing mental health care networks. Testing the CORTEXS redesign approach.

The presentations are followed by Q&A and discussion, moderated by the session chairs.

How to Cite: Dessers E, Vrijhoef HJM, Boermans S, Desmedt M, Pless S, Van den Oord S, et al.. Organizing Integration of Care – Results from Project CORTEXS. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A502. DOI:
Published on 17 Oct 2017.


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