ECAB Project Overview

The aim of ECAB is to facilitate a process whereby Europe's citizens can make informed choices about whether to seek health care in another Member State, and if they so choose, to ensure that the administrative and clinical processes are straightforward and ensure continuity of care. It takes as its starting point the recent draft Directive on Patients' Rights, augmented by the existing body of research on cross-border care. It then focuses on those areas where the necessary information is incomplete and seeks to fill the gaps. It is equally important to state what it does not do. It does not seek to quantify the scale of movement, because our earlier research reveals this to be a dynamic area where data are often unavailable and rapidly become out of date.

ECAB firstly examines five aspects of health care delivery where it will be necessary for procedures to be compatible if patients are to be assured that the care they receive is safe, of adequate quality, and capable of providing continuity where some parts of the overall care process are provided in different Member States. These are: provisions with regard to the continuing quality health professionals; treatment pathways; content and scope of medical records; medical prescribing; public reporting of quality; and long-term care including media reporting.

Secondly, it looks at three areas where there is already cross-border collaboration to identify practical issues that have arisen, and how they have or have not been addressed. These areas of practice are collaborations between hospitals in border areas, telemedicine, and dentistry.

The research on the first set of topics generally takes place on two levels. The first involves a series of pan-European surveys to identify the nature and scale of the phenomenon in, as far as possible, all Member States. The second involves focused studies in key areas geographical of subject areas that capture important issues. The methods used are both quantitative and qualitative and involve contributions from a broad range of disciplines.

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This project is co-funded by the EU through the FP7 Cooperation Work Programme: Health (contract number 242058; contract acronym EUCBCC)

2010-2013 EUCBCC consortium