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What Is Integrated Healthcare and Why Is It Important?

Integrated healthcare is a distinct approach to medicine that emphasizes tight collaboration and communication among various doctors and healthcare providers.

In other words, it’s a healthcare style in which all your physicians collaborate to address physical, emotional, and behavioral health concerns. Each doctor and medical worker contribute to your total treatment rather than being separated and independent. 

Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, psychologists, and other health professionals collaborate for improved health outcomes.

 

What is Integrated Healthcare?

 

Integrated health care, also known as interprofessional health care, treats patients by emphasizing collaboration and communication among health professionals. 

The exchange of information among team members relating to patient care and formulating a complete treatment plan to address the patient’s medical, psychological, and social requirements distinguishes integrated health care. 

Depending on the patient’s needs, the interprofessional health care team may comprise a diverse group of people (e.g., doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other health professionals).

 

Why is it important?

 

Integrated healthcare is a form of medical care that combines conventional medicine and alternative medicine. It brings analytical, logical, and holistic approaches to treatment based on scientific evidence.

Integrated Healthcare is the ultimate solution for all and makes healthcare facilities more efficient and sustainable. As a result, integrated Healthcare can improve patient care and the quality of clinical decision-making and ultimately reduce costs.

It is important also for patient-centered healthcare methods:

For example, a team-based approach to treating chronic diseases meets a patient’s particular requirements coordinated with integrated health care. 

The patient has access to many services accessible in the health care community, which might encompass anything from diabetic treatment to drug misuse concerns, helping the patient with a multi-faceted approach. 

Rather than concentrating on particular diseases or mental health disorders, the integrated health care paradigm focuses on treating the complete person via case management strategies.

 

Types of the integrated health systems:

 

There are several different forms of integrated health systems. Therefore, to further understand how integrated health systems work, we must first analyze the various forms of integration.

The integration types are:

  • Functional integration:

Multiple interactions exist and are coordinated across numerous groups and departments to deliver the highest value and service to patients in functional integration.

This notion extends beyond patient care to include ancillary departments such as information technology and quality assurance.

A strong link between non-patient and patient care departments enables a better patient experience and a smoother transition across all elements of healthcare.

  • Physician integration:

Physician integration is a concept in which physicians and the organizations with which they work and are affiliated share the same beliefs, aspirations, and objectives to reduce disparities in patient care.

The physician and the organization should see each other as partners working toward the same goal, allowing them to deliver more efficient and better service to patients, resulting in improved overall health outcomes.

  • Clinical integration:

Clinical integration refers to providing services to patients by various providers and organizations.

A care coordinator coordinates these services to ensure that the patient receives the highest quality care while receiving the most efficient and effective treatment possible.

 

Benefits of integrated healthcare:

 

  • Patient satisfaction:

Interprofessional and integrated healthcare, according to studies, enhances overall patient satisfaction.

Patients benefit from improved cooperation amongst their providers, who may collaborate closely to better overall outcomes for illness management, mental health difficulties, physical therapy, and much more. 

It improves their general quality of life and happiness with their medical provider.

  • Quality of care:

The overall quality of care is enhanced with integrated healthcare. General practitioners, physical therapists, psychologists, and home care providers. 

Other medical professionals may work more closely to manage their patients’ health conditions better. It ensures they’re receiving appropriate treatment and improves their overall well-being.

  • Access to services has been improved:

For example, in an integrated healthcare paradigm, a patient who needs mental health services or counseling might immediately obtain a referral from their primary care physician and meet with a counselor who works for the same company or even in the same building. 

Your Psychiatrist or Therapist can also recommend you to a primary care physician through reverse integration. As a result, patients will have simpler access to the physical and mental health care services they require. 

Healthcare services are now more accessible than ever, thanks to many integrated healthcare providers delivering virtual healthcare and telemedicine.

  • Lower overall healthcare expense:

Overall, healthcare expenditures are decreased when doctors and medical workers interact and work together. In addition, with fewer appointments, patients will be able to obtain the therapy they require.

Improved information exchange in an integrated healthcare model can also help patients and healthcare providers save money by accelerating diagnosis and reducing the number of unnecessary medical tests and exams.

Challenges of integrated healthcare:

 

Healthcare integration creates to serve patients better and provide high-quality care. However, there are some healthcare integration challenges you should be aware with these challenges:

  • EHR Interoperability Issues: 

A new healthcare integration technology pulls structured data into a file, and data collection and integration must adhere to HIPAA compliance guidelines. As a result, several healthcare institutions are implementing healthcare integration. 

It necessitates a wide range of data types and sizes. When implementing healthcare integration, remember that one of the biggest obstacles is healthcare interoperability. You don’t want to end up with data silos because of interoperability. 

  • Processing of Healthcare Integration:

Numerous healthcare organizations have neglected to scale with the introduction of cloud technology and internet media. As a result, they cannot cope with information at the same rate generated. 

Healthcare has more information than any other industry, and medical care firms’ on-premises information distribution centers can’t keep up with the rate of information deluge.

As a result, healthcare organizations miss valuable experiences and overlook opportunities to increase patient consideration. To tackle the obstacles, healthcare organizations rely on cloud-based healthcare integration solutions.

  • Inconsistency in the data:

Data must be consistent while implementing an integrated healthcare system. However, healthcare companies may have different preferences for user apps. 

Therefore, it might lead to data inconsistency, compromising data quality, and the integrated care delivery model.

  • The end-user:

Using integrated data benefits patients, doctors, and nurses. It provides integrated patient care while also increasing the patient experience. Healthcare data is a valuable resource, but it is challenging to evaluate raw data.

It may be impossible to get all medical service outlets. It includes medical clinics, centers, specialist’s offices, research labs, and telehealth service providers. It helps to undergo the same procedure with these services. 

 

Conclusion:

 

intelyConnect is an end-to-end solution for the small and medium enterprise market. We provide a fully-fledged EMR solution with many features designed to help small businesses consolidate their operations into one platform. 

Its inbuilt tools also provide the functionality to help users manage appointments, streamline the billing and invoicing process, and much more!  

If you’re looking for a tool that will allow you to manage your healthcare needs better, I’d recommend setting up an appointment to see how it can enhance and improve your overall situation.

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Davinci

Davinci is a research-based contributor for intely, providing content specifically in the Healthcare IT and Digital Health space.

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