Health professionals want nothing more than for patients to get the care they need, when they need it and where they need it. In reality this is not always easy (or possible).
Referral pathways can be dotted with twists, turns, roadblocks and dead-ends and public funding is provided from a variety of sources, but accessing it can often be through a complex eligibility process.
Care providers are facing constant cost pressures, whether as part of a public health environment that has many needs to meet or as a small business operator in primary care working to deliver good care.
Accessing and sharing patient clinical information can be fraught with inefficiency as a result of inconsistent information exchange, legislative impediments (particularly from acute care to primary care), and the limited value of sharing episodic information.
An integrated care approach links the healthcare functions across a region, joining up primary, community, allied, aged and acute care. Integrated care uses coordinated teams to provide holistic care to patients with chronic or complex needs. It allows for more efficient care management across the range of settings that a patient visits, and creates a patient-centric view of the care continuum.