Over one million five hundred thousand services postponed for Covid have already been restored, in addition to 53 thousand operations. But it is still not enough: The operational plan for the restoration of waiting lists drawn up by the Emilia-Romagna region aims to return to pre-pandemic performance values for extendable or programmable services by 2023. In fact, emergencies have always been guaranteed within the fixed times, and that, of course, will continue to be the case.
A return path that provides a first, important milestone: by the end of 2022, deadlines must be met in at least 90% of cases when the required performance indices (green area), and therefore the first must be guaranteed. specialist doctor visits within 30 days and a diagnostic assessment within 60. On average, these times, which were before 2020, were complied with in 97% of cases, and it is at similar values that the Region wants to reach 2023.
On the operational front, restoration of production capacity to 92% of levels in 2019 in 2022 and complete restoration of pre-pandemic capacity in 2023 are expected. Each proposed action will be discussed with the unions. As mentioned, the plan does not concern emergency special efforts and services, for which the regional health service, despite the health preparedness, has always guaranteed execution.
“The critical problems we have had to overcome in these two years are unprecedented in the history of the regional health system,” commented President Stefano Bonaccini and Health Policy Councilor Raffaele Donini. where hospitals, health centers and emergency rooms were exposed to extraordinary pressure, still acute services both in terms of specialist visits and diagnostics and for surgeries.Think of cancer patients, for example, but also of cardiac or orthopedic pathologies, where the commitment was maximum. we close the emergency page, overcome thanks to the significant commitment of health professionals, dispose of the arrears that still exist, to return to the usual standards in Emilia-Romagna by 2023. Without forgetting that our regional health service is among the most in Italy has regained suspended services due to the pandemic and that the region on the waiting lists has impl implemented a constant monitoring plan, unique in the country, which before the pandemic had reduced waiting times, provides the services within the times specified by the ministerial standards. In the same way, we now intend to do everything necessary to return to our standards, taking into account the two dramatic years we have behind us ”.
For several years, the Emilia-Romagna region has been engaged in the implementation of strategies for containment and effective programming of waiting lists, with particular reference to outpatient specialties and planned surgical admissions. Furthermore, since 2019, the Regional Observatory has been established for waiting lists for outpatient and inpatient specialist services, while registration of waiting times, initially quarterly, since 2015 has been organized on a weekly basis. Through a regional dashboard, reservations made and guaranteed are registered within standard times each week, and performance data is published on the website www.tdaer.it and can be consulted online by all citizens.
In total, more than 1.6 million suspended services were administered and recovered in 2020. In terms of surgical procedures, approximately 74,000 admissions were postponed in 2020: Per. On January 1, 2022, the number of admissions was reduced to only 21,000 admissions. It is therefore possible to estimate a recovery of approximately 53,000 total interventions in 2021.
Reimbursement plan, the measures envisaged
The regional plan puts on paper the tools with which the expected goals are to be achieved. In terms of planned surgical procedures, the focus is on maximizing the efficiency of the operating rooms with a clear and defined programming of patient preparation routes to eliminate preoperative hospitalization times; A contribution from accredited individuals is also expected: the available opening hours of operating rooms where public health professionals work will be extended to increase the number of interventions; The region’s constant monitoring of the health authorities’ ability to provide services will then continue.
With regard to diagnostics and specialist visits, the key issue is greater production and appropriateness: Unambiguous and standardized access paths to specialist visits will be developed for the most frequent pathologies, with different priority classes, and as in relation to the diagnosed suspicion. allow the physician to make the appropriate choice of priority. The plan also provides for the possibility of strengthening cooperation between healthcare companies, including those from different territories, in order to expand the availability of booking services.
Telemedicine, which has proven invaluable in overcoming the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, will also play a leading role in optimizing the use of available resources, developing alternative methods at a distance that are able to guarantee continuity of treatment for patients who do not have access to the facilities according to the plan and to residents in remote areas who can also be monitored remotely. Telemedicine can also be implemented for specialized industries, eg linked to cases of dispensation for chronic pathology with an expiration date.
Furthermore, the use of telemedicine, especially for teleconsultation between general practitioners and specialists, constitutes a basic tool so that the use of specialist visits or diagnostics can be agreed in advance between professionals.