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Feature Papers Collection: Health Care Sciences & Services

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Care Sciences & Services".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 10744

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Unit of Endocrinology, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda-Ospedale, Maggiore Policlinico Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Interests: type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes; post-transplant diabetes; innovative therapies; diabetes complications; cystic fibrosis related diabetes mellitus
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Population Health Analytics Department, Healthcare Analysis & Forecasting, Wantage OX12 0NE, UK
Interests: healthcare demand; forecasting and capacity planning; spatio-temporal analysis; social groups; financial risk in healthcare purchasing; death; end-of-life; infectious outbreaks; cytomegalovirus
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As Editorial Board Member of the Section “Health Care Sciences & Services” of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, I am pleased to announce the collection “Feature Papers Collection: Health Care Sciences & Services”. This topical collection will be a collection of research papers, reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses from top researchers describing the state-of-the-art developments in a diverse set of topics related to: estimating future demand and the resources required to service that demand (people and costs), new and emerging technology to deal with demand, disease prevention including emerging vaccines, critical appraisal of integrated care and its limitations, substitution between primary and secondary care. Progress toward universal healthcare and financial risk in government funded healthcare systems.

We hope this topic is of interest to you and invite you to send a tentative title and short abstract to our editorial office ([email protected]) for evaluation before submission. Please note that selected papers will still be subject to thorough peer review.

We look forward to receiving your excellent work.

Prof. Dr. Emanuela Orsi
Dr. Rodney P. Jones
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • healthcare
  • health systems
  • disease prevention
  • health promotion
  • public health
  • primary care
  • specialized care
  • screening
  • diagnosis
  • treatment
  • coordination
  • integrated care
  • health insurance
  • universal health coverage
  • determinants of health
  • research for health

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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25 pages, 877 KiB  
Article
Effect of Disease Severity, Age of Child, and Clinic No-Shows on Unscheduled Healthcare Use for Childhood Asthma at an Academic Medical Center
by Pavani Rangachari, Imran Parvez, Audrey-Ann LaFontaine, Christopher Mejias, Fahim Thawer, Jie Chen, Niharika Pathak and Renuka Mehta
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1508; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021508 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1771
Abstract
This study examines the influence of various individual demographic and risk factors on the use of unscheduled healthcare (emergency and inpatient visits) among pediatric outpatients with asthma over three retrospective timeframes (12, 18, and 24 months) at an academic health center. Out of [...] Read more.
This study examines the influence of various individual demographic and risk factors on the use of unscheduled healthcare (emergency and inpatient visits) among pediatric outpatients with asthma over three retrospective timeframes (12, 18, and 24 months) at an academic health center. Out of a total of 410 children who visited an academic medical center for asthma outpatient care between 2019 and 2020, 105 (26%) were users of unscheduled healthcare for childhood asthma over the prior 12 months, 131 (32%) over the prior 18 months, and 147 (36%) over the prior 24 months. multiple logistic regression (MLR) analysis of the effect of individual risk factors revealed that asthma severity, age of child, and clinic no-shows were statistically significant predictors of unscheduled healthcare use for childhood asthma. Children with higher levels of asthma severity were significantly more likely to use unscheduled healthcare (compared to children with lower levels of asthma severity) across all three timeframes. Likewise, children with three to four clinic no-shows were significantly more likely to use unscheduled healthcare compared to children with zero clinic no-shows in the short term (12 and 18 months). In contrast, older children were significantly less likely to use unscheduled healthcare use compared to younger children in the longer term (24 months). By virtue of its scope and design, this study provides a foundation for addressing a need identified in the literature for short- and long-term strategies for improving supported self-management and reducing unscheduled healthcare use for childhood asthma at the patient, provider, and organizational levels, e.g., (1) implementing telehealth services for asthma outpatient care to reduce clinic no-shows across all levels of asthma severity in the short term; (2) developing a provider–patient partnership to enable patient-centered asthma control among younger children with higher asthma severity in the long term; and (3) identifying hospital–community linkages to address social risk factors influencing clinic no-shows and unscheduled healthcare use among younger children with higher asthma severity in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers Collection: Health Care Sciences & Services)
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Review

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0 pages, 3841 KiB  
Review
Addressing the Knowledge Deficit in Hospital Bed Planning and Defining an Optimum Region for the Number of Different Types of Hospital Beds in an Effective Health Care System
by Rodney P. Jones
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(24), 7171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20247171 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 3237
Abstract
Based upon 30-years of research by the author, a new approach to hospital bed planning and international benchmarking is proposed. The number of hospital beds per 1000 people is commonly used to compare international bed numbers. This method is flawed because it does [...] Read more.
Based upon 30-years of research by the author, a new approach to hospital bed planning and international benchmarking is proposed. The number of hospital beds per 1000 people is commonly used to compare international bed numbers. This method is flawed because it does not consider population age structure or the effect of nearness-to-death on hospital utilization. Deaths are also serving as a proxy for wider bed demand arising from undetected outbreaks of 3000 species of human pathogens. To remedy this problem, a new approach to bed modeling has been developed that plots beds per 1000 deaths against deaths per 1000 population. Lines of equivalence can be drawn on the plot to delineate countries with a higher or lower bed supply. This method is extended to attempt to define the optimum region for bed supply in an effective health care system. England is used as an example of a health system descending into operational chaos due to too few beds and manpower. The former Soviet bloc countries represent a health system overly dependent on hospital beds. Several countries also show evidence of overutilization of hospital beds. The new method is used to define a potential range for bed supply and manpower where the most effective health systems currently reside. The method is applied to total curative beds, medical beds, psychiatric beds, critical care, geriatric care, etc., and can also be used to compare different types of healthcare staff, i.e., nurses, physicians, and surgeons. Issues surrounding the optimum hospital size and the optimum average occupancy will also be discussed. The role of poor policy in the English NHS is used to show how the NHS has been led into a bed crisis. The method is also extended beyond international benchmarking to illustrate how it can be applied at a local or regional level in the process of long-term bed planning. Issues regarding the volatility in hospital admissions are also addressed to explain the need for surge capacity and why an adequate average bed occupancy margin is required for an optimally functioning hospital. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers Collection: Health Care Sciences & Services)
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18 pages, 1232 KiB  
Review
Narrative Review of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s First Two Years in Italy
by Flavia Beccia, Andrea Di Pilla, Francesco Andrea Causio, Bruno Federico, Maria Lucia Specchia, Carlo Favaretti, Stefania Boccia and Gianfranco Damiani
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315443 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2275
Abstract
Italy was the first country in the western world to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, arguably among the worst-affected ones, counting 12 million cases and 150 thousand deaths two years since the first case. Facing new challenges, Italy has enacted different strategies [...] Read more.
Italy was the first country in the western world to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, arguably among the worst-affected ones, counting 12 million cases and 150 thousand deaths two years since the first case. Facing new challenges, Italy has enacted different strategies and policies to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and treat those affected by COVID-19. This narrative review provided an overview of factors, measures, and actions that shaped Italy’s first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic by investigating epidemiological data and using a mixed-method approach. This narrative review aimed to summarize the most relevant aspects and measures and analyze available data to provide policymakers and healthcare providers with the instruments to learn from this pandemic and improve their preparedness for future pandemic events. The first two years of the pandemic differ in that, during the first year, significant necessary changes to the way health systems were organized were implemented, increasing healthcare spending and adopting social and physical distancing measures that were stricter than the ones adopted in the second year. However, as the pandemic progressed, increased knowledge of the virus and related variants, as well as the introduction of highly effective vaccines, which were not equally available to the whole population, resulted in a stratification of COVID-19 infections and deaths based on factors such as age, vaccination status, and individual susceptibility to the virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers Collection: Health Care Sciences & Services)
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Other

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10 pages, 684 KiB  
Systematic Review
Nudging Interventions on Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption in Adults: A Scoping Review of the Literature
by Mario Cesare Nurchis, Marcello Di Pumpo, Alessio Perilli, Giuseppe Greco and Gianfranco Damiani
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20031675 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2928
Abstract
Background: The World Health Organization identified alcohol and tobacco consumption as the risk factors with a greater attributable burden and number of deaths related to non-communicable diseases. A promising technique aimed to modify behavioral risk factors by redesigning the elements influencing the choice [...] Read more.
Background: The World Health Organization identified alcohol and tobacco consumption as the risk factors with a greater attributable burden and number of deaths related to non-communicable diseases. A promising technique aimed to modify behavioral risk factors by redesigning the elements influencing the choice of people is nudging. Methodology: A scoping review of the literature was performed to map the literature evidence investigating the use of nudging for tobacco and alcohol consumption prevention and/or control in adults. Results: A total of 20 studies were included. The identified nudging categories were increasing salience of information or incentives (IS), default choices (DF), and providing feedback (PF). Almost three-quarters of the studies implementing IS and half of those implementing PF reported a success. Three-quarters of the studies using IS in conjunction with other interventions reported a success whereas more than half of the those with IS alone reported a success. The PF strategy performed better in multi-component interventions targeting alcohol consumption. Only one DF mono-component study addressing alcohol consumption reported a success. Conclusions: To achieve a higher impact, nudging should be integrated into comprehensive prevention policy frameworks, with dedicated education sessions for health professionals. In conclusion, nudge strategies for tobacco and alcohol consumption prevention in adults show promising results. Further research is needed to investigate the use of nudge strategies in socio-economically diverse groups and in young populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers Collection: Health Care Sciences & Services)
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