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Matrix support program in cardiology: qualification and dialogue with primary care professionals

Matrix support is a powerful and innovative strategy to face the challenge of reorganizing and qualifying the clinical process of chronic non-communicable diseases in the Brazilian National Health System. This article reports the deployment of the Matrix Support Program in Cardiology in primary health care services in a town in southern Brazil and its initial results. This is an action research study in which the field researchers were a cardiologist and a nurse who actively participated in designing the Matrix Support Program in Cardiology. The empirical material consisted of field notes, records from the Regulation Center, and accounts by key players involved in the deployment and execution of matrix support, obtained by means of semi-structured interviews and meetings. The program was deployed in 2010, in all of the 56 primary health centers aiming both to increase continuing education for professionals in the network and train the health teams to solve cardiologic problems requiring less technological resources. The results show better ability to solve problems on the part of the primary care physicians, with consequent decreased and qualified referrals to cardiologists, faster access to cardiologists and examinations, in addition to a significantly shorter queue for this specialty. We propose to continue this program, replicate it in other locations, and incorporate other professionals working in the multidisciplinary teams of primary care.

Education Continuing; Training Support; Matrix Support; Cardiology; Primary Health Care

Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil