Holistic, integrated care models improve care gaps, costs

Although there are many potential interpretations of the term, one aspect of patient-centered care means providers must take a holistic approach to care that addresses mental, spiritual and physical health, according to a column in Hospitals & Health Networks.

Care management generally falls under one of three models, all of which are generally siloed from one another, write Alan Spiro, M.D., co-founder of patient experience firm Accolade, and Adam Perlman, M.D., associate vice president for health and wellness at Duke University Health System:

Biomedical, which treats disease as it appears using evidence-based medicine and is generally physician-centered and episodic

Integrative medicine, which involves a “whole-person” model of the type endorsed by the American Hospital Association, and tends to emphasize proactive healthcare and patient-provider partnerships

Assistance, a model based on the need for personalized care that factors in contextual aspects of individual patients’ lives such as social and economic status.

But the ideal model for both cost savings and outcomes will incorporate aspects of all three, according to Spiro and Perlman. An integrated, holistic model will incorporate patients’ needs and sociodemographic profiles, which in turn enables healthcare providers to target their specific emotional, physical, spiritual or logistical needs.

Providers can then close care gaps, develop more effective treatment plans and improve patient safety through better communication, according to the article.

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