The ECAB project began in May 2010 and ran until October 2013.
The aim of the project was 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 took as its starting point the Directive on Patients' Rights, augmented by the existing body of research on cross-border care. It focused on areas with gaps in knowledge and information. The project did not not seek to quantify the scale of movement, because our earlier research has revealed this to be a dynamic area where data are often unavailable and rapidly become out of date.
ECAB firstly examined five aspects of health care delivery where it is 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:
- provisions with regard to the continuing quality health professionals
- treatment pathways
- content and scope of medical records
- medical prescribing
- public reporting of quality
- long-term care including media reporting
Secondly, it explored three areas where there is already cross-border collaboration to identify any practical issues that have arisen, and how they have or have not been addressed:
- collaborations between hospitals in border areas
The research used both quantitative and qualitative methods and involved contributions from a broad range of disciplines.