Home care and socio-healthcare networks, USI analyis of present and future challenges in Ticino

Institutional Communication Service

30 November 2020

In the Canton Ticino, as in the rest of Switzerland, the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has put the entire healthcare system  under significant pressure. In addition to hospitals and clinics, faced with unprecedented efforts in terms of organisation and logistics, the entire social and healthcare network was also affected, such as homes for the elderly, as well as nursing services and home care. An analysis of the situation - which also looks beyond the pandemic - was presented by USI researchers at a recent public symposium held by videoconference, which was attended also by representatives of cantonal authorities and cantonal and national social-health organisations.

On November 17, the Associazione Locarnese e Valmaggese di Assistenza e Cura a Domicilio (ALVAD), in collaboration with the CConferenza dei Servizi Assistenza e Cura a Domicilio (SACD) of Canton Ticino, organised a Symposium entitled "The Future of Home Care and Integrated Local Networks", to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the SACD and the 25 years of Spitex Switzerland, the national umbrella association to which the various cantonal associations refer. The event, which was attended by more than 80 people, focussed on the subject of integrated healthcare networks, proposing interventions containing both theoretical references and practical experiences. Among the several keynote speeaches, that of the Raffaele De Rosa (State Councillor, Head of the Department of social and healthcare services), Lorenzo Quadri (MP and Lugano city councillor), and Dr. Thomas Heiniger (President of Spitex Switzerland).

For the Symposium, USI was invited to share a study performed at the Institute of Economics (Public and Health Management Area). In particular, two Rapid Response Reviews were presented for the Swiss Learning Health System network (www.slhs.ch) coordinated by the University of Lucerne. In the two reports prepared by Santhosh Mannamplackal (PhD candidate at the USI Institute of Economics) and Evaristo Roncelli (PhD-researcher at USI and SUPSI) the organisational impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in a number of elderly care homes and home care services in Ticino was presented. In particular, the two young researchers analysed the impact on service delivery, inter-organizational collaboration, human resources management and logistics. The two PhD students concluded their report with the proposal of timely recommendations addressed to policy makers and administrators. Among these, the need to make the population more aware of the important role assumed by the proximity care, and to give greater priority to evidence-based research on the adverse psychological consequences and psychiatric symptoms resulting from the measures imposed by the authorities to contain the spread of the virus, and more generally from the current extraordinary context.

Together with the two young researchers Marco Meneguzzo, Professor of Public Management and Non-profit at USI, took the stage to discuss the subject of governance and management of local social and healthcare services networks in Switzerland and in Europe, presenting some important concrete experiences with two proposals on the activation of centers for local social and healthcare services and on the importance of investing in people, through management systems and skills development and fostering a service-oriented culture.

The Symposium also provided important indications for the future of the cantonal social and healthcare system, including advanced nursing (with reference to the increase of complex cases taken care of at home), the savings potential for public finances (with reference to the 2020 Canton-Municipalities Administration) and the added value of integrated healthcare networks.

Attached: the Symposium presentations (in Italian).

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