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Dossier n. 164/2008 [Abstract] The representation of intellectual capital in healthcare organizations


The document aims at describing the development and results of the Project “Intellectual capital”, coordinated by the Regional Healthcare Agency of Emilia-Romagna in collaboration with the University of Ferrara in the 2002-2004 period.

Intellectual capital is intended as a whole of knowledge possessed by all the people working in an enterprise, of the organizational strategies adopted and of the relationships of the enterprise with external subjects. These are all intangible elements, that are not quantifiable according to parameters of traditional financial and managerial accounting reports; they are therefore difficult to measure, count, economically evaluate. However, considering their importance, they have been described in particular as far as their impact on the healthcare organization is concerned.

Five healthcare organizations of Emilia-Romagna participated in the project:

  • three Local Health Trusts (Piacenza, Parma, Rimini);
  • a University Hospital Trust (Ferrara);
  • a Research Hospital (Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institutes in Bologna).

The document is divided in four Chapters, dealing with:

  1. theoretical framework of reference, to clarify the concept of intellectual capital and its close connection with knowledge and intangible resources. Some hints on literature on the topic and a deeper analysis of the theoretical approach (the so called three ways) are also presented;
  2. methodology adopted to develop the project in the participating Local Health Trusts: after the analysis on available literature and the identification of the reference framework, the workgroup has chosen the determinants of intellectual capital, its elements and the best indicators to represent it. The model was first experimented at the University Hospital Trust of Ferrara and was then spread to the other Health Trusts;
  3. analysis model: different elements were considered to define a report scheme to represent intellectual capital in Health Trusts; the model identified is that usually adopted in economic-managerial literature and is divided in:
    • relational capital: the relationships of the enterprise with external subjects (patients, other healthcare organizations, Local governments, Region, Universities, other public and private research institutions, unions, providers, funders, citizens’ and voluntary organizations), that can favour the development of positive advantages, for example in terms of reputation;
    • individual capital: all the elements that can represent the level of education, knowledge, competence and career of human resources working in a Health Trust (doctors, nurses, technicians, administrative personnel, etc.);
    • internal capital: aspects connected with the internal management and organization of the enterprise, for example management, administrative processes, research and development, consulting and training activities delivered, technologies;
  4. first results of the experimentation: comment and critical interpretation of the results through the cross-reading of the five reports. The aim is to analyse data and information collected on the three macro-themes (relational, individual and internal capital).


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pubblicato il 2008/06/01 00:00:00 GMT+2 ultima modifica 2019-01-17T14:37:51+02:00

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