Territorial health digitalization in a Local Health Authority of central Italy
More details
Hide details
ASL Rieti, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A583
Background and Objective: COVID-19 forced health systems to embrace newer methods of health data sharing, in order to reduce patients’ transfers, thus decreasing the risk of communicable diseases. The so-called “once only” strategy allows to centrally collect health data in an electronic health record (EHR), and avoid incomplete data from non-digital records such as papers or anamneses. Health digitalization is one of the main goals of Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Methods: We analyzed previous non-digital processes and defined possible interventions in the Local Health Authority (LHA) of Rieti, in central Italy. Medical prescriptions of general practitioners (GPs) are the starting point of every non-urgent territorial health process. Prescriptions were mostly sent in paper. Paper prescriptions were collected, associated to a paper patient dossier, and then physically sent to clinical providers (nurses, specialists, physiotherapists), in order to schedule and then execute the prescribed services. After performing the service, a copy of the report was then returned on paper in order to be filed and stored. Results: In the actual process, digital prescriptions are directly acquired from GPs or scanned at arrival. Prescriptions are then uploaded in the local EHR, associated to patient file. Digital prescriptions are then assigned to the appropriate clinical provider, who can directly schedule the service in the EHR itself. The execution of the service is then signaled, with the possibility to write the report directly on the EHR, or attach a scanned copy. The system lets also fine monitoring of timing from prescription to schedule and execution, thus allowing detailed quality management. Conclusions: The adoption of an EHR in Rieti LHA, after COVID-19 outbreak, lent to an improvement in the quality of care. EHR reduced the risk of errors and improved humanization of care.