Continuity of care: An Italian clinical experience

Roberto Tarquini, Davide Coletta, Gianluigi Mazzoccoli, Gian Franco Gensini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, there is a growing interest in the concept of "continuity of care," since patients, being older and more complex, are increasingly seen by an array of providers in a wide variety of organizations and places. Different models of continuity of care have been proposed, yet no single model of care coordination has been proven to be universally applicable across patient (and disease) populations. In the present paper, we introduce a novel model of continuity of care, the Ospedale Santa Verdiana, in Castelfiorentino (Tuscany, Italy), and its first period (1 year) of implementation, since January 2010. There are two main cornerstones: (a) the clinical and urgent need to bridge the gap between primary care and hospital care; and (b) the development and implementation of a model of continuity and coordination of care, which target the so-called complex patient. It is not specific for a single disease but it works "across diseases." There are three driving forces: (a) "primary care" since one of the two Hospital Coordinators is a primary care physician; (b) "hospital care" since patients in the decompensated phase often require hospitalization; and (c) the "University of Florence", which is the "glue". The duties of the Hospital Coordinator, who is an assistant professor at University of Florence, are to guarantee an efficacious and dynamic communication between primary care physicians and hospitalists, and by creating a school for practitioners of the continuity and coordination of care, to make this model exportable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-599
Number of pages5
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Continuity of care
  • Health organization
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Internal Medicine

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