Guest post by Julie Manas, president and CEO of the Western Wisconsin division of Hospital Sisters Health System
Care integration has become one of the fastest growing buzzwords in healthcare lately, which perhaps has as much to do with people like me who end up using those two words in nearly every conversation (honestly, we can't help ourselves) than any other reason.
What does "care integration" really mean? Is it a revolutionary new concept that has become the right thing to do because of the Affordable Care Act? Or is it something we've been practicing for many years and just haven't talked about it?
I would venture to say it's more the latter than the former, but we're putting added energy and effort towards "it" than we ever have.
As the healthcare landscape continues to change, issues such as patient-centered care, quality, safety and efficiency never have been more important. However, we often find ourselves addressing these areas independent of one another rather than taking a collective, global approach to re-inventing the way we care for our patients and how we coordinate that care.