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BMC Fam Pract. 2013 Oct 3;14:146. doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-146.

Impact of the implementation of an online network support tool among clinicians of primary health care and specialists: ECOPIH Project.

Author information

1
Centre d'Atenció Primària la Salut, Institut Català de la Salut, Passatge dels Encants s/n, 08914, Badalona, Spain. lacasta.david@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There has been created an online communication tool with the objective to improve the communication among different levels of care, between Primary Care clinicians and Specialists. This tool is web 2.0 based technology (ECOPIH project). It allows to review clinical cases and to share knowledge. Our study will evaluate its impact in terms of reduction on the number of referrals to three specialties two years after the use of this tool.

METHODS/DESIGN:

Open, multicenter, controlled, non random intervention study over 24 months. Study population includes 131 Primary Care Physicians assigned to nine health centers. The study will compare the clinicians that use the ECOPIH with the ones that do not use the tool. Also, professionals that start to use the tool during the period time of the study will be included.The number of annual referrals during the first and second year will be analyzed and retrospectively compared with the previous year to the implementation of the tool. Moreover, it will be assessed the level of satisfaction of the professionals with the tool and to what extend the tool responds to their needs.

DISCUSSION:

The implementation of ECOPIH in the field of Primary Health Care can decrease the number of referrals from primary care to specialist care.It is expected that the reduction will be more noticeable in the group of professionals that use more intensively the tool. Furthermore, we believe that it can be also observed with the professionals that read the contributions of the others.We anticipate high degree of customer satisfaction as it is a very helpful resource never used before in our environment.

PMID:
24088387
PMCID:
PMC3852545
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2296-14-146
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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