What is integrated Care?
Integrated care refers to a system where the patient’s journey through the system of care is made as simple as possible. A useful definition for integrated care has been stated by Judith Dixon (2010), quoting from Lloyd and Wait (2005):
“Care, which imposes the patient’s perspective as the organising principle of service delivery and makes redundant old supply-driven models of care provision. Integrated care enables health and social care provision that is flexible, personalised, and seamless.”
Various types of integrated care organisations have been described (Lewis et al., 2010):
From the Deanery’s point of view, we see clinical integration as a mechanism for improving patient care, particularly for those with complex needs. This improvement will require changes in clinical behaviour which we believe can be achieved through education and training.
Principles of Integrated Care
The following five principles are derived from The Nuffield Trust paper on integrated care organisations (Lewis et al., 2010). While these principles relate to service design, we feel they have merit in terms of understanding the education and training implications for delivering care in integrated settings.
- Integrated care must focus on those patients for whom current care provision is disjointed and fragmented, mainly complex patients with co-morbidities.
- Effective clinical leadership must exist, to promote changes in clinical behaviour.
- The interaction between generalist and specialist clinicians must promote real clinical integration.
- There must be integrated information systems that allow the patient’s journey to be mapped across a care pathway at any moment in time. This must be linked to cost utilisation data.
- Financial and non-financial incentives must be aligned to provide the conditions to ensure that care delivery is of high quality and cost-effective.
The London Deanery is planning a range of education and training initiatives. These are designed to underpin the development of core competencies and skills that will help our workforce to achieve integrated working and learning patterns.
Promoting the Integrated care Project
Above within “downloads” is an Integrated Care Marketing Pack for your use. It has been put together to act as both a reference aid and also as a presentation for you to use in meetings/seminars to introduce the IC project to the wider audience. As you will see, the pack is very concise, outlining the main aspects of the project so far, e.g. Current workstreams, IC initiatives and contact details for the project team etc. We will continue to expand it as the project grows and new developments occur and will upload each time a new version is produced.