Deploying New Perspectives of Network Organizations for Chronic Diseases’ Integrated Management

Deploying New Perspectives of Network Organizations for Chronic Diseases’ Integrated Management

Isabella Bonacci (Federico II University, Italy) and Oscar Tamburis (ICAR – CNR, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0044-7.ch012


The social frame of healthcare organizations in Europe (and in particular in the Italian Public Sector), as a combination of relational, formal and informal aspects, is one of their most relevant sources of complexity, which leads to different approaches about decisional, clinical and organizational processes (Cicchetti, 2004). These issues have been enlightened as well by the increasing social incidence of chronic-degenerative pathologies, such as Diabetes Mellitus type 2. In this regard, the Italian national e-government strategy has first pointed out the need for paths of integration and interoperability among information systems to ensure a safe exchange of information (CNIPA, 2008). The activity of “integrated design” of information flows between doctors and patients allows the creation and development of reticular organizational forms in which many non contiguous actors work at the same time on the diagnosis and care process. This paper shows how the adoption of the Social Network Analysis (SNA), as theoretical and methodological perspective that emphasizes the social reality as reticular framework (Moreno, 1987), can provide an innovative approach for the study of the “pathology networks” and the “integrated management” of Diabetes Mellitus type 2, where ICT solutions are (or are about to be) currently involved.
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The Impact Of Icts Vs. The Logics Of Network

After the First Stage of Discovery of the “Health ICT world” (1989-1999), the Second Stage of Acceptance (1999-2009) began with recognition that nothing was going to happen by osmosis or just because of the enthusiasm of that community alone. The challenges were evident – there was no main stream credibility for health ICT within the technology sector or indeed within healthcare itself; there was no voice for innovation and new ideas; few who were aware or listening to the health telematics community (EHTEL, 2009). Opportunities have been beginning to open up during years. New technologies have been maturing which had relevance to healthcare. The growing pressures of demography, medical advances and patient empowerment were all in sharp contrast with finite resources available to address a growing demand from citizens and patients for more health attention.

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