What is Integrated Healthcare: 4 steps to prepare your healthcare organization for integrated care

What is Integrated Healthcare: 4 steps to prepare your healthcare organization for integrated care

What is Integrated Healthcare

Integrated healthcare is a system which consists of the various health care systems and services that are available to patients. Integrated healthcare can be defined as when health care professionals coordinate psychosocial determinants of health. This type of care is focused on the whole person, not just the illness. It also includes communication between providers and consumers, as well as access to medical information to make the best decision. Integrated healthcare helps people by providing convenience, accessibility, and continuity of care.

Integrated healthcare is an umbrella term that refers to a system of care that includes traditional and alternative treatments. It can be seen as the blending of conventional and alternative medicine, which aims to provide a more complete and holistic approach to providing care. Integrated healthcare integrates physical, mental and social aspects of health. This integrated approach to healthcare seeks to address the root causes of illness and enable people to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

What are some of the most common integrated healthcare systems

The most common integrated healthcare systems are the ones that offer both inpatient and outpatient care. These include hospital-based, managed care, and freestanding facilities.

Some of the most common integrated healthcare systems are Kaiser Permanente, National Health Service (NHS) in England, and Medication Assistance Programs. Integrated healthcare systems are typically found in countries that have a socialized health care system.

Integrated care programs are becoming more popular in the United States. They promote effective treatment of psychiatric conditions that occur in primary care settings.

What are some benefits of integrated healthcare

Integrated healthcare is especially beneficial to patients who may have complex needs or who need more than one type of care. Integrated healthcare benefits doctors because it allows them to offer more services for their patients. It helps improve the overall experience for patients by providing a more holistic approach to healthcare.

Integrated healthcare promotes patient engagement and adherence. The more engaged patients are, the better their health outcomes will be. It benefits patients because it gives them greater control over their own healthcare.

For example, increasing risk of suicide attempt and death is one of the most pressing issues in our society today. There have been many initiatives that have been taken to reduce the risk of suicide and death. Integrated healthcare is a concept is beginning to address these pressing concerns.

Integrated healthcare management accelerates time to diagnosis and treatment. Integrated healthcare has been around for a while but the recent advances in technology have made it more feasible.

The state of integrated care

Despite outspending other developed countries by over 25% on healthcare, the outcomes in the United State are still poor compared to other countries. This is mainly because of our higher mortality rates and greater prevalence of illness. Connecting patients and caregivers across a continuum is a promising approach to turn the tables. Paying attention to other aspects of healthcare, such as access to food or affordable housing have proven important to physical health. These factors are called Social Determinants of Health (SDoH). Unless we change the way we deliver services to patients and broaden our scope of what influences health, we will never see meaningful change in healthcare.

How should my organization prepare for integrated care

Already, some health plans are working on offering this ‘whole-person’ approach to their members. By understanding the current state of healthcare and integrating their organization with new technology, they will be able to prepare for a future of integrated health care.

There are many changes happening in the healthcare industry. These changes include the implementation of new technology and a shift in patient care from inpatient to outpatient services. To prepare for this transition, healthcare organizations must understand the current state of healthcare and how to integrate their organization with new technology.

1) Tell your story of success with data

In order to prepare for this change, your organization should focus on where it can have the greatest impact. Payors are finding success with integrated disease management programs, and they are connecting providers across a full-spectrum of care options by identifying preferred providers who excel in their specialty. An organization can prepare for participating in integrated care by developing outcomes reports with data-evidenced outcomes for patients.

2) Expand services across all age groups

If you are a specialty service that performs well for older adults or children, you will want to consider expanding similar services across all age groups. Organizations who can serve anyone with an illness or challenge will be preferred over those who have cutoffs by age groups.

3) Prepare for a culture of collaboration

In order to prepare collaboration, healthcare organizations must begin by understanding how they can deliver care in a collaborative environment and then prepare its workforce for a shift in culture. It might be helpful to diagram how current patient experiences could be augmented by sharing information with other service providers who serve the same patient in other areas. Begin preparing workforce by educating them on the benefits of collaboration for improved outcomes for patients and potential reduced workload for staff.

4) Modernize data systems to support coordinated care

If the electronic record your organization is using does not support exchange of information easily, consider your options for modernization. In order to avoid over burdening staff with duplicate data entry, your organization’s ease of transition into integrated care will depend on interoperability of data systems. If your electronic record cannot easily exchange information and support single sign-on, data challenges will quickly become a burden for staff and patients alike. Patients who have to fill out the same information on multiple forms and staff who have to key enter the same information into multiple data systems will soon cripple efficiency in an organization. Evaluate your technology and data workflow capacity in preparation for integrated care.


The most innovative Medicaid managed care organizations & Special Needs Medicare Advantage plans have generally led the way in executing on the integrated health care model. Health plans are beginning to focus on whole-person care with holistic preventative services like disease management. As health plans continue to expand to become integrated health systems, they will be looking to build a network of specialty providers who can evidence positive outcomes for patients. Companies like Opeeka are leading technology innovation for ease of exchange of information between providers and from provider to patient. Organizations that prepare for integrated health care will become preferred over those who do not.

About Opeeka

Opeeka creates technology solutions to support whole-person, person-centered, success-focused and coordinated care. Opeeka’s Person-Centered Intelligence Solution (P-CIS, /pieces/) addresses three challenges of care: 1) allows flexible adjustment of questionnaires for, 2) monitors outcomes of people and populations in real-time, and 3) judiciously exchanges information about co-served people in care across disconnected electronic systems.