In the Italian National Health Service, hospital planning has been influenced by two aspects: patients' freedom to choose their healthcare provider and the equal distribution of centers spread throughout country. Unfortunately, while every Italian region should be able to meet the health needs of its own inhabitants, consistent migration among regions exists, especially from the southern areas of the country, including Sicily. As it has been demonstrated that a hub-and-spoke model (HSM) can provide medical care to even the most rural areas, the aim of this study is to propose a new Sicilian model to avoid patients' migration.
Design, Methodology, Approach
The IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo” of Messina, together with the Ministry of Health and the Sicilian government, has incorporated an HSM into a Sicilian healthcare program that provides neurological rehabilitation by means of innovative technologies such as robotics.
The authors expected, thanks to this novel HSM, that patients may benefit from advanced robotic neurorehabilitation even in rural areas, and therefore be properly treated in their own cities, avoiding unnecessary and expensive migrations to other regions and/or countries. Indeed, since the introduction of this model, there has been a reduction in patient migration, especially in the province of Messina, with a reduction of costs for admission outside the region of about 260.000 euros.
The use of innovative technology in the context of the promising HSM will help clinicians increase the intensity of therapies and improve working cost/efficacy, with better functional outcomes in patients.
The authors wish to thank Dr Angelo Aliquò and Vincenzo Barone, respectively, past and present general directors of the IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo, for their help in the project management.
They also thank Dr Antonina Donato for English-language editing.
The authors states neither conflicts of interest nor financial support.
Calabrò, R., Manuli, A., De Cola, M. and Bramanti, P. (2020), "Innovation technology in neurorehabilitation: introducing a hub and spoke model to avoid patient “migration” in Sicily", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-07-2019-0200Download as .RIS
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