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Oct. 5, 2017

Integrated care: better and cheaper

Region: Global Other Empowering and engaging people and communities, Strengthening governance and accountability, Reorienting the model of care, Coordinating services within and across sectors, Creating an enabling environment Source: Guus Schrijvers

Integrated care improves health, increases quality of care and lowers costs. These three goals, this Triple Aim in other words, are achieved in many examples from all over the world: from Alaska to New Zealand, from Western Europe to South Africa. However, disseminating all these good examples is easier said than done, as nationwide implementation means the simultaneous realisation of the following six components of integrated care:

1. Multidisciplinary care pathways and decision trees

2. Patient self-management and shared decision-making by patients and professionals

3. Guaranteeing professional and patient- perceived quality

4. Population-based funding and shared savings

5. An Electronic Health Record and e-health

6. Servant leadership and a strategy for change management.

These are the conclusions Guus Schrijvers draws in his book Integrated Care: better and cheaper. His conclusions are based on more than 500 studies from the 1960s until mid-2016. In addition, he also draws on his own 45 years of experience with research into integrated care. Examples hail from the Netherlands and other countries with social health insurances, from countries with free-market healthcare and from countries that pay healthcare with tax money.