Post-acute covid-19 rehabilitation network proposal: From intensive to extensive and home-based it supported services

Monica Pinto, Francesca Gimigliano, Stefania De Simone, Massimo Costa, Attilio A.M. Bianchi, Giovanni Iolascon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Management of COVID-19 post-acute syndrome is an emerging health issue in rehabilitation. This article aims to present a proposal, based on the principles of clinical governance, health management and information technology (IT), and to respond to the need for a structured organization model for post-acute COVID-19 rehabilitation. The authors present a regional-based model of a network of clinicians and healthcare managers using a dedicated IT platform to achieve both effectiveness and efficiency objectives, to ensure coordination of the available resources and the most appropriate rehabilitative treatment for patients. The proposed post-acute COVID-19 rehabilitation network has been designed according to the model of a clinical management project within the Italian national healthcare system, and its context is an easily adjustable model for the European healthcare systems. The authors base the project on current laws and scientific guidelines in rehabilitation in Italy and in Europe and use the SWOT analysis technique to assess the proposal feasibility. The primary aims of the project are: (1) standardizing the minimum assessment tools of post-COVID-19 patients with disabilities; (2) ensuring an individual rehabilitation project for each patient with international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) coding and (3) reporting the activity performance with appropriate indicators. The secondary aims are: (1) developing educational programs for patients and care givers also aimed at acquiring better empowerment and positive behavior; (2) creating a regional database for data collection and (3) improving IT, and specifically tele-rehabilitation, as a suitable approach during the COVID-19 emergency and also in the future. Expected results are: continuum of care; effectiveness, efficacy and appropriateness in the delivery of rehabilitation treatments through a standardized minimum assessment and the wording of the individual rehabilitation project and a precise reporting of performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of clinical activities and the satisfaction of patients and caregivers. The assessment of results will be analyzed at three and six months to implement corrective actions according to the concept of continuous improvement of the Deming cycle. The IT remote approach allows the patient to meet the needs of proximity of care and empowerment, and, at the same time, to contain the spread of infection. This project could have a significant healthcare impact ensuring a more efficient and effective management of the demand of rehabilitation post-acute COVID-19, expanding the professional skills of the rehabilitation team members, improving both clinical and process data, in addition to optimal allocation of available economic resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9335
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2 2020


  • Clinical governance
  • IT
  • Network model
  • Post COVID-19 care
  • Post-acute rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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