What is integrated care?
There are different ways in which integrated care could be defined. One of the simplest is - that - integrated care is a coherent set of services intended to achieve best possible levels of well-being for an individual. Integrated services may include prevention, health promotion, diagnosis, treatment, diseases management and rehabilitative services and palliative care. These services should be well coordinated at all levels, need to be of good quality and must be affordable.
There are different types/levels of stakeholders involved in integrated care and include policymakers, regulators, care provider, manager, community, and service recipient (top to bottom).
Integrated care has special importance in older people's lives with their specific health needs, a possible atypical presentation of disease, multiple morbidities and associated needs.
Integrated care aims to deliver more coordinated health and social care for patients. It is achieved by multidisciplinary clinical teams working in harmony to deliver management that is joined up and consistent, avoiding needless duplication and streamlining bureaucracy.