As politicians and legislators discuss and debate the future of healthcare, the facts are that costs are escalating at an alarming rate. Consumers today are faced with less money to spend on their own healthcare needs, and it is becoming more diﬃcult to access care in some areas. Poor coordination of care, especially between primary care providers and behavioral health specialists, causes poor outcomes and increases waste.
Virtual integration through Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Personal Health Records (PHRs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) is more sustainable. The use of these tools ensures that care providers have access to a client’s full medical history, including current medications and health conditions that should be considered as part of diagnosis or treatment, but does not require the attending clinicians to be co-located.
Healthcare integration occurs when healthcare professionals have access to information about – and treat – all health conditions at the same time. This shared accountability leads to improved personal, community and population health outcomes.