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The UOC's eHealth Center contributes to a report identifying 106 measures to improve the Spanish health system

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20/11/2020
Imma Alberch
The document, titled "106 medidas que mejoran el sector de la salud en España tras la pandemia de Covid-19", contains contributions from over 50 health experts

A few days ago, the Fundación Economía y Salud presented a report titled 106 medidas que mejoran el sector de la salud en España tras la pandemia de Covid-19 (106 measures that improve the Spanish health sector after the COVID-19 pandemic), which researchers from the UOC's eHealth Center contributed to. This report, based on input from the Foundation's Scientific Committee, an interdisciplinary team of more than 50 health experts, was presented on 12 November at the Assembly Hall of the UNED's Faculty of Education.

Ignacio del Arco, a research technician at the eHealth Center and an expert in health solution design and innovation, also took part in the 2017 report "100 medidas que mejoran el sector de la salud" (100 measures that improve the health sector), as area coordinator for health promotion, disease prevention and patient empowerment. He underscored the "importance of this new report, which updates the content to include a new vision that has emerged in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic". 

The report is structured in the following areas: healthcare measures, primary care and care integration, information management and information and communication technologies, health promotion, disease prevention and patient empowerment, social and health care and coordination, organizational measures and home care, evaluation and benchmarking, patient safety and medical professional health, human capital and professional motivation, procurement and administration, and good governance and transparency.

 

Health promotion, disease prevention and patient empowerment

One of the areas to which the eHealth Center's team of experts contributed significantly is that of health promotion, disease prevention and patient empowerment. And one necessary measure within this area is to integrate a biopsychosocial perspective in clinical interventions. "Although WHO said very clearly quite a few years ago that the concept of health goes beyond the mere absence of disease, medical protocols obviate this and fail to make recommendations concerning the affective, social and psychological aspects that are linked to disease," explained Eulàlia Hernández, a researcher in health literacy and professor at the UOC's Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences. "The measures that we have proposed put the spotlight on health promotion, which is often sidelined in the urgency to treat or prevent specific diseases," she added. 

Manuel Armayones, expert in behavioural design and professor at the UOC's Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, underscored the need to include social science experts in multidisciplinary teams that would be responsible for making health-related decisions. "The perspective brought by behavioural design is fundamental in any intervention whose goal is to change people's behaviour," he explained.

They all agreed on the need to promote people's health literacy, one of the eHealth Center's research areas. "Fortunately, this often means improving actions that have already been made and promoting or redefining resources that are already available, focusing them on people and what they really need, and making sure that the information is accessible, understandable and easy to apply," Hernández concluded. 

 

Good governance and transparency

Albert Barberà, the eHealth Center's director, contributed to the area focusing on good governance and transparency. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Barberà said that there is an increased need for "independent management, transparent and apolitical use of data, and accountability to society, sharing the uncertainties linked to a never before experienced situation such as the current pandemic. All these are essential for ensuring adequate responsiveness". 

According to Barberà, the new health and primary care system must be built with a long-term outlook: "The pandemic is forcing us to learn and improve, but we must avoid rethinking the health system only in terms of what will happen after COVID-19 and work to consolidate a resilient, agile, adaptable health system. This will require good governance to give us the capacity to change and respond. And transparency to help us engage the public with the situation so that they become active stakeholders in the decisions that are made." 

 

Health transparency portal

The document ends with measure 106, which advocates creation of the Public Health Transparency Portal. The goal of this portal will be to provide information about prevention measures, epidemiological data, protocols and health outcomes. 

"We hope that these measures will take root and contribute effectively to the essential task of redefining our healthcare model, and that it will provide a practical guide for improving the health system, helping to consolidate the foundations of the welfare society," del Arco concluded. 

The report can be found at the following link

More information.

#UOCexperts

Photograph of Eulàlia Hernández Encuentra

Eulàlia Hernández Encuentra

Expert in: ICTs and health, personal and professional use of the Internet for health, health promotion through the use of ICT, lifelong developmental psychology (what people are like at different points in their lives).

Knowledge area: Developmental psychology.

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Photograph of Manuel Armayones Ruiz

Manuel Armayones Ruiz

Lecturer in the Psychology and Education Sciences Department
Researcher of the eHealth Center

Expert in: E-health; the Internet and health; e-patients; health in the future; the psychological impact of ICT; patient social networks; addiction; the Internet and new technologies; health and robotics; rare diseases and the Internet; online psychological intervention strategies; rare diseases and ICT.

Knowledge area: eHealth, eSalut, health and ICTs.

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Albert Barberà

Albert Barberà

Director of the UOC's eHealth Center

Expert in:

Knowledge area: eHealth, eSalut, health and ICTs.

Ignacio del Arco

Research and projects specialist

Expert in:

Knowledge area: eHealth, eSalut, health and ICTs.