[The EASY-NET research programme: background, structure, and methodology]
This is the first contribution of a series of interventions describing the EASY-NET research program (Bando Ricerca Finalizzata 2016, funds 2014-2015; NET-2016-02364191). Here, the objective is to illustrate the background and the research question, the structure and organization, the methodologies and the expected results of the programme. The main theme is audit&feedback (A&F), a proven and widespread technique for improving the quality of health care. EASY-NET, funded by the Italian Ministry of Health and by the governments of the participating Italian Regions, starts its research activities in 2019 with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of A&F in improving care for different clinical conditions in various organizational and legislative contexts. The research network involves seven Italian Regions, each conducting specific research activities described by as many work packages (WP): Lazio (the leading Region, coordinator of the research activities), Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Calabria, and Sicily. The involved clinical areas include the management of chronic diseases, emergency care for acute conditions, surgery in the oncological area, the treatment of heart disease, obstetrics, and the use of caesarean section and post-acute rehabilitation. The involved settings concern the community, the hospital, the emergency room, and the rehabilitation facilities. Different experimental or quasi-experimental study designs are applied in each WP to achieve specific objectives of the specific clinical and organizational context. In all WPs, the process and outcome indicators are calculated on the basis of the Health Information Systems (HIS) and, in some cases, they are integrated with measures obtained from ad hoc data collections. The programme aims to contribute to the scientific evidence on A&F also exploring the obstacles and favourable factors for its effectiveness and to promote its implementation in the health service, with the ultimate aim of improving the access to healthcare and the health outcomes for citizens.
Reference: [The EASY-NET research programme: background, structure, and methodology].
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