Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice in Integrated Care: The Case of the Diabetic Foot Pathway in Tuscany

  • Nuti S
  • Bini B
  • Grillo Ruggieri T
  • et al.
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© 2016 The Author(s). Introduction and Background: As diabetic foot (DF) care benefits from integration, monitoring geographic variations in lower limb Major Amputation rate enables to highlight potential lack of Integrated Care. In Tuscany (Italy), these DF outcomes were good on average but they varied within the region. In order to stimulate an improvement process towards integration, the project aimed to shift health professionals’ focus on the geographic variation issue, promote the Population Medicine approach, and engage professionals in a community of practice. Method: Three strategies were thus carried out: the use of a transparent performance evaluation system based on benchmarking; the use of patient stories and benchmarking analyses on outcomes, service utilization and costs that cross-checked delivery- and population-based perspectives; the establishment of a stable community of professionals to discuss data and practices. Results: The project enabled professionals to shift their focus on geographic variation and to a joint accountability on outcomes and costs for the entire patient pathways. Organizational best practices and gaps in integration were identified and improvement actions towards Integrated Care were implemented. Conclusion and Discussion: For the specific category of care pathways whose geographic variation is related to a lack of Integrated Care, a comprehensive strategy to improve outcomes and reduce equity gaps b y diffusing integration should be carried out.




Nuti, S., Bini, B., Grillo Ruggieri, T., Piaggesi, A., & Ricci, L. (2016). Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice in Integrated Care: The Case of the Diabetic Foot Pathway in Tuscany. International Journal of Integrated Care, 16(2), 9.

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