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Conference Abstracts

The transfer of organisational innovations to ethnic minorities through woman centered care and active involvement: the case of pregnant Chinese users in Tuscany


Chiara Barchielli ,

Scuola Superiore Sant’anna, Italy, IT
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Eleonora Salutini,

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Claudia Forni,

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Arianna Maggiali,

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Paolo Zoppi



Understanding differences among cultures and therefore of people’s different needs is the first step in not leaving any of those needs unfulfilled. Ethnic minorities can require crafted organizational interventions to benefit from Healthcare. Hospitals are facing the challenge to be “Smart”, namely integrated, able to communicate and actively involve citizens. We therefore need a new type of governance that takes these aspects into account.

Short description of practice change implemented

This is the case of Prato, Italy, location of the largest Chinese community in Italy, and the case of how it was possible to open specific obstetric pathways to a large number of Chinese women, that reported significant benefits from their involvement.

Aim and theory of change

The aim was the inclusion of a specific part of population into the low risk pregnancy pathway. The qualitative data emerged from the initial interviews showed a need, and the Hospital’s management decided to fulfil it, replicating the pathway and enriching it with the fixed presence of Mediators.

Targeted population and stakeholders

Chinese pregnant women were the targeted population and the stakeholders, together with the Hospital of Prato and the entire healthcare service.


The first interviews were conducted during December, 2019. The dedicated pathway started on February, 2020. This good practice will not be interrupted.


Due to a language barrier, this pathway was not usable by Chinese women. The Hospital management decided to open this possibility to them, and it was made possible with the introduction of the Cultural and Linguistic Mediator that approached them on the occasion of their blood tests asking abouts their needs.


Comments on sustainability

This kind of implementation is sustainable as it doesn’t require investments: it can be operationalized with the resources that already are part of the healthcare system’s assets.

Comments on transferability

It is  transferable as it only needs the political will to be implemented and Mediators.


The dedicated pathway for low-risk pregnancy Chinese women started on the 17th of February 2020, immediately registering a good adhesion. To date, there are 56 future mothers who have decided to participate and that were interviewed, to gather their point of view and to assess the efficacy of the intervention. These are the emerged points of interest: (i) the constant presence of the midwife was very much appreciated (ii) and led them to think about the pregnancy as a process to discover, as they felt free to ask for information, always reassured that no question was stupid. (iii) They no longer felt powerless and unable to manage the physical and psychological transformations (iv) and felt understood and integrated


The organizational intervention discussed proved itself able to make the hospital “smart” as it brought inclusion and crafted intervention where most needed.

Lessons learned

The growing success of this intervention was possible by avoiding that cultural differences become an obstacle, but rather a vehicle of sharing experiences, points of view and integration in which the Chinese childbirth culture and Western models find a fruitful meeting point.

How to Cite: Barchielli C, Salutini E, Forni C, Maggiali A, Zoppi P. The transfer of organisational innovations to ethnic minorities through woman centered care and active involvement: the case of pregnant Chinese users in Tuscany. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S1):81. DOI:
Published on 08 Apr 2022.


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