Background: DESDE-LTC (Description and Evaluation of Services and DirectoriEs for Long-Term Care) is an international classification system that allows standardized coding and comparisons between different territories and care sectors, such as health and social care, in defined geographic areas. We adapted DESDE-LTC into a computer tool (DESDE-AND) for compiling a directory of care services in Andalucia, Spain.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the maturity of DESDE-AND. A secondary objective of this study is to show the practicality of a new combined set of standard evaluation tools for measuring the maturity of health technology products.
Methods: A system for semiautomated coding of service provision has been co-designed. A panel of 23 domain experts and a group of 68 end users participated in its maturity assessment that included its technology readiness level (TRL), usability, validity, adoption (Adoption Impact Ladder [AIL]), and overall degree of maturity [implementation maturity model [IMM]). We piloted the prototype in an urban environment (Seville, Spain).
Results: The prototype was demonstrated in an operational environment (TRL 7). Sixty-eight different care services were coded, generating fact sheets for each service and its geolocation map. The observed agreement was 90%, with moderate reliability. The tool was partially adopted by the regional government of Andalucia (Spain), reaching a level 5 in adoption (AIL) and a level 4 in maturity (IMM) and is ready for full implementation.
Conclusions: DESDE-AND is a usable and manageable system for coding and compiling service directories and it can be used as a core module of decision support systems to guide planning in complex cross-sectoral areas such as combined social and health care.