The Health Services Research on Chronic Patients Network (REDISSEC) is committed to developing excellence in the fields of research, development and innovation, in order to provide evidence on best practices and organizations, with a view to improving the results of health care provided to chronic patients in Spain.
REDISSEC is built on three main issues: the challenge of managing the phenomenon of chronicity, the need for more and better information and the obligation to increase research capacity in health policies and services in Spain.
The challenge of chronicity
Chronic diseases (CD) are by far the leading cause of death in Europe and Spain, accounting for more than two-thirds of all deaths. The economic implications of such a disease burden are also significant.
Despite recent advances, most health care for CD is still structured around acute exacerbations of the disease. For this reason, the management of chronic diseases is increasingly seen as a major concern for policymakers and researchers.
Need for more and better information to support decision making
Probably the elements that best shape today’s health care environment are: the concern of governments and societies about increasing health care expenditures; the existence of wide variations in medical practice that are not explained by differences in population morbidity; concern about the efficacy, safety and efficiency of new technologies and medicines, and the quality of medical practice and health care organizations; the revolution in information and communication technologies, along with the promise of their impact on the health sector; and the increasing involvement of patients in clinical decisions.
Improving research capacity in chronic disease health policies and services in Spain
Health Services research in Spain has grown in the last 20 years, mainly around small research groups. Although some previous efforts can be highlighted, it was not until 2004 that health services research appeared as a priority research area in the 2004-2007 National Research Plan.
REDISSEC’s capacity is based on previous experience of collaborative research in most of the participating groups. This collaborative strategy has made it possible to build an initiative composed of 14 research groups from 8 autonomous communities. REDISSEC is aware of its potential in terms of capacity building in health services research on chronic diseases; however, REDISSEC is also aware of the numerous research questions and knowledge gaps that will require an additional networking strategy, at national and international level.