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Arch Hellen Med, 33(4), July-August 2016, 630-638


The opinions of physicians of the administrative and economic impact of therapeutic protocols in Primary Health Care

I. Varemenos, S. Varemenos
Università Telematica Internazionale Uninettuno, Roma, Italy

OBJECTIVE Τhis is a study of the views of physicians in primary health care about the administrative and economic impact of therapeutic protocols (TPs) in the National Health System (NHS).

METHOD The qualitative method of semi-structured interviews was employed to collect data on the views of 15 physicians of various specialties working in four primary health care centers in the region of Aitoloakarnania.

RESULTS The findings illustrate the positive impact of TPs on all administrative functions of the health centers, particularly control. The physicians reported, however that the management decisions of the NHS are not affected by the TPs. TPs are perceived to contribute to promoting quality in various dimensions. In addition, TPs affect the financial state of health care through reduction of health costs and elimination of the phenomena of over-prescribing and polypharmacy. The views of the participants concerning the possibility of universal application of TPs were positive, but they expressed their concern about reduction of autonomy and the absence of a patient-oriented nature associated with TPs.

CONCLUSIONS Τhe study findings were in agreement with those in the relevant literature, as similar outcomes have resulted in the implementation of TPs in other countries where they play a dominant role in the overall more effective therapeutic, administrative and economic management in primary health care services.

Key words: Health quality, Management functions, National Health System, Physicians' opinions, Therapeutic protocols.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine