SBHSS Health Platform visited Italy!

With a demographic development that points to an aging population, several challenges arise, not only in Sweden, but also around Europe. Increased loneliness, mental illness and clear inequalities in health between foreign-born and domestic-born in combination with fewer healthcare employees are major challenges facing society. That the challenges tend to be cross-border became clear when Småland-Blekinge-Halland’s Health Platform* visited the Italian region Emilia-Romagna.

Emilia-Romagna faces the same challenges as our regions, which increases our chances of in-depth cooperation with the Italian region to find common solutions.  However, the Italian region also inspired our health platform with solutions for us to learn from them. The healthcare sector in Emilia-Romagna has several successful solutions to meet the challenging situations we face in healthcare.

Collaboration, close care, preventive work and mental health. These are some examples that have been identified as areas in need of development for healthcare in our regions by Småland-Blekinge-Halland’s Health Platform. These are also some of the main points that we learned about, by experiencing it live during the health platform’s visit to Emilia-Romagna. In addition to lessons learnt and inspirations by the work of the Italian region in Bologna, Castelfranco and Modena, the Health Platform’s visit to Italy led to enriching discussions, exchange of experiences, and clearer insights into the common areas of development. Hence, there are opportunities for in-depth cooperation between our regions and Emilia-Romagna to work together to find solutions to common challenges we face.

The Swedish delegation consisted of several different professions working directly in health care and regional development, such as coordinators for close care, employees in psychiatry, health and medical analysts, most of whom had a nursing background. The reason why people who work directly with health care participated in the visit rather than the established groups within the Health Platform is to be able to use the new experiences and knowledge to enhance work methods in healthcare in our regions.

Emilia-Romagna was particularly interested in the Swedish healthcare system and how we work with data management within healthcare through the so-called risk stratification tools to identify people at high risk for hospitalisation or fragility. Among other things, they were impressed with how the region Halland can identify costs and medical analysis through data. The Italian colleagues also found it interesting how health data can be used for a more proactive approach and how it can be linked to the work with close care. They were also interested in how reservations and waiting lists with specialists work in Sweden and were impressed by the opportunity to freely choose a specialist. They also wanted to learn more about emergency care in Sweden.

With all areas identified as common challenges for health care in Småland-Blekinge-Halland and Emilia-Romagna, and knowledge to learn more from each other, it is important for the two regions to nurture the relations to see what an in-depth collaboration can lead to. This visit was a great proof of the mutual learning and collaboration for the benefits of our stakeholders.


*Småland-Blekinge-Halland’s Health Platform is a collaboration between our 5 regions for development of health. You can read more about Health Care and Health Innovation of our regions here.