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Australian Healthcare | System Structure and How Does it Work?

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Different needs are addressed by multiple doctors, clinics, hospitals As a citizen, we don’t want them to go through tedious processes and steps just to address their needs. 

This is why having proper integrated care implementation is crucial. 

 

What is Integrated Health Care? 

It is combining services from different areas to treat the person. It is the processes, methods, and tools of integration that facilitate integrated care. Integration involves connecting the health care system (acute, community and primary medical) with other service systems (such as long-term care, education or housing services) 

 

5 Main Types of Integration and Processes 

Systemic – Coordinating and aligning policies, rules, and regulatory frameworks 

Normative – Developing shared values, culture, and vision across organizations, professional groups, and individuals 

Organizational – Coordinating structures, governance systems, and relationships across organizations 

Administrative – Aligning back-office functions, budgets, and financial systems across integrating units 

Clinical – Coordinating information and services and integrating patient care. 

 

Keep in mind that there is no hierarchy within the integrative processes. There are also instances that not all integrative processes will be of use. 

 

The Integrated Care System Model 

Provider – Coordinate services, tasks, and patient care across professional, organizational and system boundaries 

Policy-maker – Design integration-friendly policies, regulation, and financing arrangements; develop appropriate care systems, processes, and quality standards; support holistic evaluation of integrated systems and programmes 

Regulator – Register integrated providers; assess care provision; monitor joined-up care; eliminate poor quality and safety 

Care Professional – Advocate for service users; provide and coordinate health and social care 

Evaluator – Measure integration against national and local measures; contribute to evidence-informed integration. 

Manager – Build and sustain shared culture and values; maintain oversight of pooled resources and funding streams; coordinate joint targets; supervise diverse staff; manage complex organisational structures and relationships 

Service User/Carer – Experience improved access and navigation across elements of care, including information sharing 

Community – Help shape local services 

 

Why is Integrated Health Care Necessary? 

Disjointed services can result in a poor distribution of care and assistance that baby boomers need.  They can be prone to errors, increase the number of hospitalizations, emergency visits, higher expenses, and mortality rates. 

Proper implementation of all 5 segments of integrated care will provide the efficiency of the system.  Baby boomers will no longer go in long queues or be transferred from one hospital to another. They will experience an overall better quality of service and handling of their finances.  

More importantly, Integrated Health Care is more than just a business or service model. It’s about having genuine concern and compassion for aged citizens to give them the best years of their retirement. 

 

References: 

  1. https://nationalseniors.com.au/research/finances/ageing-baby-boomers-in-australia 
  1. https://2qean3b1jjd1s87812ool5ji-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Australia-Population-Map-Generational-Profile-2015_Infographic_McCrindle.pdf 
  1. https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/Fact-Sheet-How-PHNs-Integrate-Health-Services 
  1. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/rural-monitor/health-care-integration/ 
  1. https://akolade.com.au/events/2nd-retirement-living-forum/ 
  1. https://www.academia.edu/19952848/Australian_baby_boomers_expectations_and_plans_for_their_old_age 
  1.  Promoting Healthy Ageing in Australia. Canberra: Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC), 2003. 
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