Health System Burden of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Sponsor: Sanofi Pasteur
Project Status: COMPLETED (July 2020 – December 2022)
What aims and scope
This project aims to document and address current challenges to responding to pediatric respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and provide recommendations to prevent infection spread and the disease burden based on best practices.
How it will become possible
The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) recognises RSV as the leading cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia, in infants and young children. Country-based local surveillance demonstrated hospitalisation due to RSV to be adding to healthcare costs which in many countries were already rising exponentially. RSV causes death among the most vulnerable patients and leads to lifelong respiratory illness among new-borns and infants.
To raise awareness of RSV as the leading viral cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia, in infants and young children EHMA steered multi-stakeholder group meetings, produced EHMA Conference Sessions and conducted a two-year project. With the support of an expert focus group four specific research surveys were disseminated across the WHO Europe region. Data was collected and analysed to produce a white paper and journal article on the impact of RSV on healthcare professionals and European health systems. Study results were presented at numerous specialist conferences across Europe including the Annual Excellence in Pediatrics Conference and the 12th International RSV Symposium.
Where EHMA delivered
From 2020 to 2022, EHMA produced and delivered three EHMA Annual Conference Sessions focusing on the impact of RSV on the pediatric community and healthcare settings. In the first year of the project, an EHMA study, based on four specially designed quantitative surveys, was conducted among healthcare professionals (physicians in hospitals and the community, nurses, and health managers) in 20 European countries, within a 6-month period during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey collected the experience and perception of healthcare professionals leading to a publication of a white paper and an infographic containing six recommendations to minimise the disruption of paediatric RSV, alleviate the strain on health resources, reduce the impact on the workforce, and benefit RSV patients and their caregivers. An extensive dissemination campaign was undertaken prompting the white paper results which were warmly welcomed by the WHO and the European Commission.
What our Members say
I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.
Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy
Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.
Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria
I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.
Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta
EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.
Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK
Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.
Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary
As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.
Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal
Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.
Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK
Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.
Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain