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Health teams of the Northern Metropolitan Health Service Network in Chile organised an evaluation workshop on the virtual consultations generated within the framework of the Equity LA II project


Last Friday, November 23rd, doctors and other professionals from different services of the San José Hospital, Roberto del Río Hospital, the National Cancer Institute, community health directors and members of the CESFAM teams from the communes of the Northern Metropolitan Health Service (SSMN) network, met in a conference organized by the Local Steering Committee (LSC), convened by the Northern Metropolitan Health Service. The objective of the meeting was to analyze the experiences regarding the implementation of virtual consultations and their impact in the coordination of healthcare services.

Through a participatory process led by the LSC, two interventions were designed and implemented in the Northern Metropolitan Health Service network (intervention network), which have been continuously evaluated. One of the implemented strategies, are virtual consultations, in which doctors and other healthcare professionals from the San José Hospital communicate on-line with primary healthcare teams to deal with issues regarding joint clinical management . The strategy has roused interest to a large number of professionals and technicians of the network, extending from the initial three to the current eight communes of the SSMN. Given the high adherence and effectiveness of the strategy, this year similar strategies of interlevel communication have been developed at the Roberto del Río Hospital and the National Cancer Institute. In addition, the experience has been included as an example of good practice in the Guidelines for planning and programming in the 2018 network. Subsecretaría de Redes Asistenciales, MINSAL (Page 71).

Dr. Ricardo Pinto, Director of the SSMN, began the conference highlighting the improvements made in the SSMN network with respect to its baseline study in 2015. Patricia Espejo from the San José Hospital, María Angélica Contreras from the Roberto del Río Hospital, Isabel Abarca from the National Cancer Institute and Mauricio Araya from APS shared the experience of each centre, its milestones and how the strategy evolved in each place. Subsequently, a joint reflection exercise was carried out in working groups formed by representatives of the different network facilities and of the health service itself, in which they discussed the usefulness of the strategy, its institutionalization and suggestions for its application. The results of the participatory process and the experience of virtual consultations will be presented at the next Public Health Congress on 6th December at the University of Concepción.

The LSC, created within the framework of the Equity LA II project as a participatory body, is formed by managers from the SSMN, Hospital San José (and currently also Hospital Roberto del Rio and INCANCER) and communal health departments from the communes of Recoleta, Huechuraba and Independencia, together with members of the ESP research team. The LSC has met monthly since 2015, applying a participatory and horizontal working method.

In January, the 10th International Workshop of Equity LA II will be held in Brazil, bringing together the teams from all participant countries, whose results are nourishing the international discussion for the elaboration of recommendations for national and international decision makers.

The following are part of the CCL: by SSMN: Ricardo Pinto, Enrique Fisher, Orietta Candia; Hospital San José: Fernando Urra, Patricia Espejo, Alicia Urquiza, Claudia Guerra; Hospital Roberto del Río: María Angélica Contreras; by INCANCER: Cecilia Cerda, Isabel Abarca; Comuna de Recoleta: María Eugenia Chadwick, Karen Guzmán, Macarena Valdés, Mirta Díaz; Comuna de Huechuraba: Sergio Flores, Wilma Hidalgo, Sergio Rojas; Comuna de Independencia: Ana María Moreno, Mauricio Araya and by the University of Chile research team: Pamela Eguiguren, Ana María Oyarce, Isabel Guzmán, Andrea Alvarez, Nimsi Pastén.