High quality chronic disease management requires coordinated care across different healthcare settings, involving multidisciplinary teams of professionals, and performance evaluation systems able to measure this care. Inter-organizational performance should be measured considering the professional relationships between general practitioners (GPs) and specialists, who are usually linked through informal referral networks. The aim of this paper is to identify and evaluate the performance of naturally occurring networks of GPs and hospital-based specialists providing care for congestive heart failure (CHF) patients in Tuscany, Italy. The analysis focuses on the identification and classification of networks, following CHF patients (n = 15,841) through primary care and inpatient care using administrative data, and on the assessment of process and outcome indicators for CHF patients in these referral networks. We demonstrate the existence of informal links between GPs and hospitals based on patterns of patient flow. These networks which are not geographically based vary in the intensity of relationships and quality of care. Such referral networks may represent the most effective accountability level for chronic disease management, since they encompass the multiple care settings experienced by patients. Overall, an integrated approach to evaluation and performance management that considers the naturally occurring links between professionals working in different settings may enable more efficient, integrated care and quality improvements.

Managing the performance of general practitioners and specialists referral networks: a system for evaluating the heart failure pathway

Sabina Nuti;Francesca Ferré
;
Chiara Seghieri;Elisa Foresi;Therese A. Stukel
2020-01-01

Abstract

High quality chronic disease management requires coordinated care across different healthcare settings, involving multidisciplinary teams of professionals, and performance evaluation systems able to measure this care. Inter-organizational performance should be measured considering the professional relationships between general practitioners (GPs) and specialists, who are usually linked through informal referral networks. The aim of this paper is to identify and evaluate the performance of naturally occurring networks of GPs and hospital-based specialists providing care for congestive heart failure (CHF) patients in Tuscany, Italy. The analysis focuses on the identification and classification of networks, following CHF patients (n = 15,841) through primary care and inpatient care using administrative data, and on the assessment of process and outcome indicators for CHF patients in these referral networks. We demonstrate the existence of informal links between GPs and hospitals based on patterns of patient flow. These networks which are not geographically based vary in the intensity of relationships and quality of care. Such referral networks may represent the most effective accountability level for chronic disease management, since they encompass the multiple care settings experienced by patients. Overall, an integrated approach to evaluation and performance management that considers the naturally occurring links between professionals working in different settings may enable more efficient, integrated care and quality improvements.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/531090
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