Integrated care - vital to health system reform
The integration of health services across hospital, community and primary healthcare settings is crucial to the quality of care and better health outcomes. Low levels of health service integration and interface lead to gaps in care, conflicting advice or treatments, and duplication and wastage of resources.
Two key pillars that are fundamental to the RACP vision for integrated care are:
- Supporting specialists to undertake their role in informing, planning and contributing to care for patients with chronic, complex and multiple healthcare needs; and
- Supporting specialists to work in community-based ambulatory settings
- whether physically or virtually (the third space).
The pillars are supported by 7 Principles. These include principles of patient centred, flexible, locally implemented and multidisciplinary healthcare that provide for measurable outcomes, and that focus on quality of care and patient safety (see the Integrated Care Discussion Paper 2018 below).
How is the RACP influencing integrated care policy?
The College is actively engaged in advocating for changes that will drive and support better integrated care, including developing a model of integrated care involving specialists, improving connected health care, telehealth, digital health, hospital reforms, contributing to consultations on the MBS Review, paediatric policy issues and Indigenous health.
The RACP has given a high strategic priority to integrated care since 2015. The Health Reform Reference Group (HRRG) leads the advocacy on integrated care, through its sub-group on integrated care.
The HRRG Integrated Care Sub-group has two Co-lead Fellows, Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and Dr Tony Mylius. This group works on policy and advocacy matters relating to integrated care. A key active project is the development of a better system based approach to integrating care for patients with multiple chronic conditions that serves to link primary and secondary care services
Fellows interested in integrated care and other matters of health reform are able to join the HRRG through the
Health Reform Reference Group Nomination Form
If Fellows have any comments or experiences relating to integrated care email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent submissions, position statements and media
Integrated Care: Physicians supporting better patient outcomes Discussion paper (PDF 231KB)
Rehabilitation medicine physicians delivering integrated care in the community (PDF 947KB)
RACP response to the RACGP ‘Vision for a sustainable future’ discussion paper (PDF 506KB)
Senate Inquiry into Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Primary Health Care (PDF 2MB)
Where can I read more?
Read RACP policies, position statements or submissions by searching the Policy and Advocacy Library
or view the latest Policy Submissions