Knowledge and use of clinical coordination mechanisms in healthcare networks in Latin America
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© 2018 SESPAS Objective: To analyze the level of knowledge and use, and the characteristics of use, of care coordination mechanisms in public healthcare networks of six Latin America countries. Method: Cross-sectional study based on a survey using the COORDENA® questionnaire with primary and secondary care doctors (348 doctors/country) of public healthcare networks in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay (May-October 2015). Analyzed variables: degree of knowledge and use of information coordination (referral/reply letter, discharge report, phone, e-mail) and of clinical management coordination (shared clinical guidelines, joint meetings) mechanisms. Descriptive analyses were conducted. Results: Knowledge of clinical information coordination mechanisms was high in both care levels and analyzed networks as was the use of referral/reply letter. There was greater variability in the use of discharge reports (from 40.0% in Brazil to 79.4% in Mexico) and, except for Argentina, a low reception reported by primary care doctors stands out (12.3% in Colombia and 55.1% in Uruguay). In contrast, knowledge of clinical management coordination mechanisms was limited, especially among secondary care doctors. It is noteworthy, however, that adherence to clinical guidelines was high (from 83.1% in Mexico to 96.8% in Brazil), while participation in joint meetings varied widely (from 23.7% in Chile to 76.2% in Brazil). The difficulties reported in the use of the mechanisms are related to structural and organizational factors. Conclusions: The limited knowledge and use of coordination mechanisms shows insufficient diffusion and implementation. Strategies to increase its use are needed, including the related factors.
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