Integrated care – healthcare that crosses organisational boundaries and different care settings – is the goal of health systems worldwide.
Many of the challenges facing healthcare globally – ageing and expanding populations, the proliferation of chronic diseases, heightened consumer expectations, increasing focus on care quality and value based care, and changing financial and quality regulations – are underpinned or driven by fragmented healthcare services.
The status quo: drivers for integrated care in Australia and New Zealand
The current structure of health care delivery has been sustained for decades by a number of mutually reinforcing factors: siloed primary care practices; measurements of “quality” defined and incentivised as process compliance; care delivery systems with duplicative service lines and little integration; fragmented patient populations; and all underscored by siloed IT systems with little or no sharing of information – all of which are causing a desire to shift towards a more integrated healthcare system.
While not easy to achieve, the strategy to support a coordinate model of care delivery can be achieved through 6 essential steps.
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