Research, a strategic objective for primary healthcare
The scientific output of the Foundation University Institute for Primary Health Care Research Jordi Gol i Gurina (IDIAPJGol) presented in this report demonstrates again the capacity of the Foundation to produce translational research of excellence and to provide the adequate framework for the academic development of primary healthcare professionals and for the generation of new knowledge, with the aim to directly benefit the health and quality of life of the population.
Primary healthcare is the first port of call into the health system. In addition, it provides integrated, continuing, interdisciplinary and person-focused healthcare, from health promotion to cure and rehabilitation. Primary healthcare attends to the main health problems of the population and also to the most prevalent conditions. Therefore, the main objective of primary healthcare research is to respond to the healthcare needs that emerge from everyday clinical practice and to provide translational results based on scientific evidence.
Presently, one of the main objectives of the Health Department is to strengthen primary and community healthcare to consolidate them as the backbone of the public health system. The Catalan Institute of Health is committed to provide healthcare excellence, from health promotion and prevention to the treatment of all conditions, from the most prevalent to the most complex.
Additionally, the Catalan Institute of Health is also committed to provide health services based on innovation. To this end, the strategy to promote and provide incentives for research in primary healthcare research has become a priority. Accordingly, the Catalan Institute of Health supports and coordinates the Scientific Board of the IDIAPJGol and takes an active role in the Foundation’s government bodies.
This report provides an insight into primary healthcare research developed following the principles of efficiency, effectiveness and collaborations to achieve our ultimate aim, the improvement of health and health services.
Dr. Josep Maria Argimon i Pallàs
ICS Managing Director
We investigate to improve the health of the population
Foundation University Institute for Primary Health Care Research Jordi Gol i Gurina (IDIAPJGol) is a leading institution in primary health care research and the only of its kind in Catalonia. At the IDIAPJGol, we pioneered research supported by a consolidated organisation with the capacity to provide knowledge, skills and excellence to health professionals who aim to investigate in the primary care setting.
Certainly, primary health professionals are the first port of call to the health system. Moreover, they attend to healthy and sick individuals on a daily basis and follow their patients throughout their lives. Proximity, continuity of care and transversality are the defining characteristics of primary care research; indeed, we are able to monitor needs, investigate improvement procedures and implement them in clinical practice. Our research is thus readily translated into clinical practice to positively impact health and quality of life.
We aim to produce effective research to increase the efficiency of the health system, mainly through the study of diseases in their initial and preventative stages. We already have 35 accredited research groups and 9 Research Support Units in Catalonia to approach the IDIAPJGol services to the investigators in order to advise and assist them during the development of projects.
The data included in the 2017 Report confirm the consolidation of research in primary care, which continues its sustained growth. We started more new projects than in previous years and our scientific output increased. During 2017, we launched 123 new projects and published 363 scientific articles, with a total IF of 1056.358.
However, we are acutely aware that there is still much to do for the results of our research to directly benefit the quality of the health services and the health of the population. To achieve excellence in primary care we must optimise the use of economic and human resources and the support to our researchers.
We should also underscore the vision of the Health Department for the promotion of research with the creation of the Strategic Plan for Research and Innovation in Health (PERIS) 2016‐2020 call for proposals, the only of its kind in Spain. Crucially, in this first call for proposals the Department of Health has awarded funding to 24 primary care research projects. Notably, the IDIAPJGol leads 21 of these studies and participates in all of them. The PERIS is a fundamental step forward in our health system, because it intertwines research and clinical practice with the aim to accelerate the transfer of results into the consultation room. The PERIS will generate scientific output with a direct impact on the health of the population. Current studies funded by PERIS investigate the prevention and health improvement of patients affected by the most common health conditions, namely diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, HIV, respiratory diseases, mental health, cognitive impairment, sexual health, prescription, immunization and nutrition.
The current climate provides solid ground for optimism and at the IDIAPJGol we remain committed to promote and develop excellence in research in the primary care setting.
Concepció Violan Fors
Chief Director IDIAPJGol