The impact of alternative care integration strateg.. (Equity-LA II)
The impact of alternative care integration strategies on Health Care Networks’ performance in different Latin American health systems
Start date: Aug 1, 2013,
End date: Jul 31, 2018
Health services fragmentation is one of the main obstacles to effective health care in Latin-America, particularly for chronic diseases. This research builds upon results from Equity-LA (FP7-B-223123) and focuses on one of the most promoted policies to respond to fragmentation in LA, the development of Integrated Health Care Networks (IHN). The general objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of different care integration strategies in improving coordination and quality of care of IHN in different health care systems in Latin America, with particular reference to chronic diseases. Methods: The study adopts a quasi-experimental design, with a participatory action-research approach. In each country, two comparable IHN will be selected -one acting as the intervention and the other as the control area. It is structured in four phases: 1) a base-line study using qualitative and quantitative methods to carry out an initial evaluation of IHN performance; 2) design and implementation of an intervention focused on care coordination and quality of care; and based on health professionals training; 3) evaluation of effectiveness and limitations of interventions and associated contextual factors; and; 4) cross-country comparative analysis and elaboration of tools for getting research into policy. In each country, a research steering committee will be set up to lead the project, composed by health care professionals, managers, users and researchers. Results and relevance: The project will contribute to FP7 Cooperation Work Programme Health (SICA)’s objectives by: 1) generating evidence-based policies to improve integration of care in Latin American countries; 2) strengthening research capacity of all involved institutions in order to enhance knowledge development on care integration in their countries; and by 3) contributing to skills improvement and motivation of health workforce, through training programs aimed at improving care coordination and quality.
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