NSW Health describes integrated care as the provision of seamless, effective and efficient care that responds to all of a person’s health needs, across physical and mental health, in partnership with the individual, their carers and family. It means developing a system of care and support that is based around the needs of the individual, provides the right care in the right place at the right time, and makes sure dollars go to the most effective way of delivering healthcare for the people of NSW.
Gerry Marr, CEO of South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, told the SESLHD Integrated Care Forum last year that integrated care is probably “the single most challenging topic that we face in health systems across the world.” However he also outlined that it will be crucial to dealing with the increased pressures on our healthcare systems.
He says that we are now beginning to understand the challenges, not just of the demographic shift in the population, but also of the impact that comorbidity has on capacity in hospitals and more importantly, on the lives of people living with illness – be it at home, in a nursing home or in hospital.
Moving away from hospital based care
“We’re now beginning to realise that the greatest asset in anyone’s circumstances or illness is themselves. We have to design and plan and think about the idea that the patient, the person, the family are the assets in their illnesses. What I’m seeing emerging are systems beginning to re-design the whole issue of self-management, support, anticipatory care and effective rehabilitation when people have an episode of care that puts them in hospital. The conceptual idea of an asset-based approach shows great potential.”
“Over the next ten years, systems will have to move to scale at a level we have never given consideration to. The key to that will be the integration of care that shows meaningful movement of people away from hospital based care into their communities and with their families.”
How can we re-order our thinking around the challenges of integrated care? And how can we shift the balance of care to emphasize the need for people to be at home where they are most comfortable? Gerry Marr will be delivering the keynote on ‘Developing an implementation plan for integration’ at the Transitioning to an Integrated Health Service Conference this October. Book your place by September 25th to save $100 on ticket prices!