The EU-funded RITMOCORE PPI project celebrates its final event after successfully implementing the digital transformation of the care path of pacemaker patients enabled by a value-based procurement.
- RITMOCORE hospitals presented the clinical outcomes obtained by implementing the RITMOCORE Model which exceeded the initial expectations.
- The innovative RITMOCORE model becomes a European benchmark
- Value based Procurement is not for short-term savings but for the long-term sustainability of healthcare system.
September 8, 2022. Online. RITMOCORE (Innovation for a Healthy Heartbeat) is a pioneering European project in innovative joint public procurement within the H2020 Framework Programme. The project has come to an end after 69 months of execution and for this reason a final online event has been organized to present the results and experience attended by more than 80 people.
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (STPAU), the Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge (HUB) and the Liverpool Chest and Heart Hospital (LHCH), the UK Innovation Agency, Mutual Assistance Foundation of Terrassa (FAMT), VALDE Innova participated in the RITMOCORE project, which was coordinated by the Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries de Catalunya (AQuAS).
Irina Kalderon Libal representing the DG CNECT of the European Commission (EC), opened the event highlighting how RITMOCORE aligns perfectly with the actions that the EC is undertaking to respond to demographic changes in Europe.
RITMOCORE was developed to improve access and quality of care for patients with pacemakers, due to growing demand and limited clinical resources. Ion Arrizabalaga, representing AQuAS, highlighted that RITMOCORE implements a patient-centered care model based on active coordination with primary care, remote monitoring, patient activation and the use of pacemakers according to the indications of the clinical guidelines. The awarded suppliers deploying the necessary technology and services have been Biotronik in Spain, represented during the event by Jose Luis Cerezuela, and Boston Scientific in England, represented during the event by Robert Hilton. The change in hospital procedures has been supported by an intensive change management programme.
The deployment of this new model has been enabled by a public procurement of innovation including the provision of services instead of products and a risk sharing model that promotes public-private collaboration. Innovation lies in increasing efficiency and effectiveness through the alignment of interests with suppliers. It is about offering the best health care possible with the always limited resources available. This risk sharing with providers is based on long-term contracts, payment per population, outcome-based payment and financial liability in case of given patients health complications. RITMOCORE is an example of value-based procurement.
This change in model, explained Professor Jay Wright, from LHCH, triggered a care improvement for patients who, thanks to remote monitoring, increased their confidence in the health system, savings in travel to hospital centres and peace of mind knowing that any alert is delivered directly to your cardiologist. In this sense, a 90% of remote monitoring of pacemaker implants in the Bellvitge, Sant Pau and Liverpool hospitals has been achieved in just one year, when the usual rate in Spain is 10% of patients receiving a pacemaker. Dr. Ignasi Anguera from HUB highlighted that remote monitoring has detected more than 60 atrial fibrillations that have been actioned and prevented from leading to stroke. Coordination with primary care has been such that the HUB has created an inter-consultation system between specialist nurses and primary care nurses, unprecedented in the Catalan health system, which is being extended to other hospital services beyond cardiology.
Dr Viñolas from STPAU highlighted the importance and success of the teamwork with Biotronik with patients, doctors, nurses, IT and financial services of the hospital, becoming a long-term partnership. Likewise, Dr Viñolas emphasized that “value-based procurement is not for short-term savings but for the long-term sustainability of the system.”
In the case of FAMT, whose volume of pacemaker implants is lower than that of other hospitals, Dr. Fernando Jara explained that the flexibility proposed to develop and implement RITMOCORE services was not enough to attract the industry to enter in a risk-sharing agreement viable for all parties.
Sofía Moreno, director of VALDE Innova, highlighted that RITMOCORE is “an example of success in the digital transformation of the health system” and analysed some of the key factors in addressing the difficulties of generating a change in the value model of the industry.
The round table was moderated by Rossana Alessandrello from AQuAS, and included policy makers from the European Commission (Ivo Locatelli (DG GROW) and Vasileios Tsanidis (European Innovation Council)) and from the regional administration (Rosa Vidal (CatSalut)), patients (Jenny Camaradou (PiPPi and EUPATI)) and group purchasing organizations (Toni Gilabert (Consorci de Salut i Social de Catalunya)).
The round table concluded that policy makers should promote and provide assistance to value-based procurement initiatives showcasing the achieved results and emphasizing the relevance of ex post evaluations. It was also commented that the ex post evaluations also depend on elements that characterize the healthcare providers that promote such procurements (as the area of influence or their internal organization), the industry, the patients and their equal access to the resulting value.
Finally, Ramon Maspons from AQuAS underlined the complexity in the coordination and management of value-based procurement at a local and international level and how this complexity gives us key lessons for the future scalability.
The compilation of the lessons learned and the recommendations for future projects related to digital health and the RITMOCORE model are available on the official website (http://www.ritmocore-ppi.eu/).
RITMOCORE PPI is a project co-financed by the European Union under agreement #727796