Connecting the community engaged in integrated health care is a challenge. Often behavioral health and primary care providers may operate within the same building but not be aware of each other’s presence. The Academy aims to unite these disparate efforts and direct providers towards one another in an attempt to facilitate collaboration. In the same vein, the Academy aims to offer resources to patients and the community on integration including the identification of integrated practices they can access.
The U.S. health system is slowly but steadily moving toward an integrated health care model that merges behavioral health services in primary care medical settings. The need and justification for this integration have been well documented, yet the challenge lies with the details around its implementation. Across the nation, a number of pioneers are already providing services under an integrated model despite multiple barriers. These models hinge on training providers on how to best work together in an integrated environment.
Clinicians and patients are key components of the integration team. Creating a newly redesigned system of care that puts the patient back into the center of care delivery requires providers to better collaborate with each other and with patients and families. However, redesigning care delivery systems takes time. The University of Washington AIMS Center has proposed six steps to better integrate care and change care delivery. Its web site has several important resources to assist practices in better integrating behavioral health. Learn more about resources for and about clinicians and patients.
Check back here often to see updates on where integration is happening in your community.