Background: Care plans are central to effective care delivery for people with multiple chronic conditions. But existing care plans—which typically are difficult to share across care settings and care team members—poorly serve people with multiple chronic conditions, who often receive care from numerous clinicians in multiple care settings. Comprehensive, shared electronic care (e-care) plans are dynamic electronic tools that facilitate care coordination and address the totality of health and social needs across care contexts. They have emerged as a potential way to improve care for individuals with multiple chronic conditions.
Objective: To review the landscape of e-care plans and care plan–related initiatives that could allow the creation of a comprehensive, shared e-care plan and inform a joint initiative by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop e-care planning tools for people with multiple chronic conditions.
Methods: We conducted a scoping review, searching literature from 2015 to June 2020 using Scopus, Clinical Key, and PubMed; we also searched the gray literature. To identify initiatives potentially missing from this search, we interviewed expert informants. Relevant data were then identified and extracted in a structured format for data synthesis and analysis using an expanded typology of care plans adapted to our study context. The extracted data included (1) the perspective of the initiatives; (2) their scope, (3) network, and (4) context; (5) their use of open syntax standards; and (6) their use of open semantic standards.
Results: We identified 7 projects for e-care plans and 3 projects for health care data standards. Each project provided critical infrastructure that could be leveraged to promote the vision of a comprehensive, shared e-care plan. All the e-care plan projects supported both broad goals and specific behaviors; 1 project supported a network of professionals across clinical, community, and home-based networks; 4 projects included social determinants of health. Most projects specified an open syntax standard, but only 3 specified open semantic standards.
Conclusions: A comprehensive, shared, interoperable e-care plan has the potential to greatly improve the coordination of care for individuals with multiple chronic conditions across multiple care settings. The need for such a plan is heightened in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While none of the existing care plan projects meet all the criteria for an optimal e-care plan, they all provide critical infrastructure that can be leveraged as we advance toward the vision of a comprehensive, shared e-care plan. However, critical gaps must be addressed in order to achieve this vision.