Integrated care has become a global buzzword in healthcare. Commonly interchanged with words such as, collaborative care, coordinated care, multidisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary, the reasoning behind such healthcare is countless. In my opinion however, done properly, integrated care is not simply a one-stop shop but instead an institute designed to improve communication and create coherence and synergy between various healthcare providers. In turn, we can expect better quality of care and consumer satisfaction, improved access to healthcare providers and less disjointed and fragmented services.
As a health care provider who finds himself on the border between traditional western medicine and alternative holistic medicine, the questions I see most patients asking is, “why is there such a lack of communication and disconnect between healthcare providers?” If the goal of health professional is to care, cure and rehabilitate the patient, then why is the patient left with a less then satisfied feeling of frustration, disappointment and often time’s confusion? The fact of the matter is that the system is not perfect, and regardless of the changes that need to be made and/or will be made, flaws will always exist. Having said that, health professionals, can and should do their part to help rectify the problems that they see everyday, starting with their own practices. Integrating care is definitely one way we can help improve patient care.
A true integrated institute consists of various health professionals that work collectively to coordinate and adapt care to the changing needs of the patient. By creating an interdisciplinary environment, communication between providers becomes easier, and ensures providers are working towards the same patient goals. It eliminates the bias between health professionals, reduces the occurrence of unnecessary care or treatment and allows for easy transition between health care providers should that patient require those professional services. Finally, current research has shown that many health conditions are multifaceted. Hence, care must be versatile, as many individuals will not respond to only one type of care, but when a combination of various treatments are provided patients respond more favorably.
The Active Health Institute truly believes in integrated care and we strive to maintain a patient centered health model, which allows us to build relationships with our patients, provide the best care possible, treat the whole person and not simply the condition and educate the patient to help in prevention and better health and lifestyle choices.