On January 1, 2010, the two regions were made into one region, Psychiatry Region Winterthur, when Klinik Hard and Integrierte Psychiatrie Winterthur (ipw) were merged into one organizational unit (Integrierte Psychiatrie Winterthur – Zuercher Unterland). The reorganization of the mental health service structures is planned to follow the Zurich psychiatry concept. Thus, in the future service concept, the tried-and-tested advantages of sector-based and integrated mental health care services will be implemented and further developed. Various measures will ensure information, coordination, and advisory services in the network. A specialized office will be responsible for the development of network work and treatment pathways in mental health care.
In connection with the merger of Klinik Hard and the ipw and the accompanying changes, the School of Applied Psychology at ZHAW was commissioned by ipw to launch a prospective study to monitor the process and examine the changes that occur. The aim of the study is, for one, to examine the mental health care services situation in Psychiatry Region Winterthur – Zuercher Unterland and to observe it over the course of time. For another, the study aims to capture the outpatient care network of psychiatric patients in the region as well as the cooperation among care providers in the network and to analyze the need for action regarding coordinated network work.
The mental health services situation will be captured using existing questionnaires that are normally used in everyday treatment practice (such as basic documentation, Züpaz) in the institutions of ipw. The questionnaires will be filled out by patients and health care professionals at admission and at discharge.
For analysis of the outpatient network, a questionnaire was developed specially and sent to the entire social-psychiatry network in Psychiatry Region Winterthur – Zuercher Unterland (resident psychiatrists, psychologists, family doctors, Spitex personnel, advice centers, assisted residential facilities, social welfare authorities, church facilities, lay help and self-help groups, and supported workplaces). In addition to asking about familiarity with the institutions of ipw and the former PZH, the questionnaire also covers experiences with cooperation and about networking and exchange within the outpatient helper network.
The first wave of data was collected in May 2010. The results revealed differences and similarity between the two service regions. They allow the responsible parties to develop more specific plans for patient-centered mental health care services. Data will be collected again in 2012 and 2014, for scientific monitoring of the change process of the merger of the two psychiatry regions Winterthur and Zuercher Unterland into the new organizational unit.