Hospitals in Integrated Health Service Delivery Networks: Strategic Recommendations
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In 2007, PAHO launched the Integrated Health Service Delivery Network (IHSDN) initiative to address the problems derived from the fragmentation of health services and to overcome the structural problems stemming from the widespread segmentation of health systems in the countries of the Region. In the IHSDN initiative, hospitals are an aggregate of specialized institutions that support a highly effective first level of care. Hospitals themselves are defragmented, which is theoretically correct, innovative, and even visionary. However, the IHSDN initiative does not seek to diminish the influence of hospitals in the health system or the importance of their role, but to integrate these institutions so that all their efforts are aligned with the needs of the people and communities they serve through the development of IHSDNs. It is obvious that without hospitals there can be no IHSDNs; however, it should also be recognized that without effective networks, hospitals cannot do their job. The IHSDN initiative presents a change in the role assigned to hospitals, in which they are no longer considered the apex of a pyramid in which the hierarchy is based on specialization to successfully treat disease. Instead, the hospital becomes a very important participant in a service organized as a network, performing specific tasks in a series of processes that cut repeatedly across the health service delivery network and include the participation of individuals and communities. The product of an intense debate and joint effort, this work contains a series of proposals in the six areas considered a priority for developing the new role of hospitals in IHSDNs: governance, resource allocation and incentives, the model of care, technology and infrastructure, human resources, and organization and management.
Hospitals in Integrated Health Service Delivery Networks: Strategic Recommendations. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization; 2021. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. https://doi. org/10.37774/9789275120040.
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