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Healthcare Management


Providing easy and convenient access to healthcare and social programs


Cities, communities and regions can work with their coalitions to help ensure that citizens receive the social program and healthcare assistance they need at the right time and place. Services can be coordinated around an individual’s social context that takes into account their clinical health, educational background, income, relative job satisfaction, safety, shelter, and food and nutrition.


Gaps in all of these dimensions can be assessed to develop a plan that treats a person’s overall wellness. Removing barriers between healthcare providers, social programs and other government agencies can help ensure that eligible citizens receive the services they qualify for and that individuals with special needs or chronic diseases get better coordinated care and services. The ultimate goal is to create communities that are more desirable places to live by reducing healthcare and social program costs, by improving care quality, by increasing citizen and economic productivity and by making it more cost effective to conduct business.


Citizens with chronic diseases who are elderly or poor usually have the highest healthcare and social program costs. By enabling integrated and better-coordinated care, cities, communities and regions can reduce overall costs, improve the economic health of the community and increase the quality of life for these individuals. For example, elderly citizens with chronic diseases or individuals with disabilities living on fixed incomes may need help with filling their prescriptions, shopping for and cooking nutritious meals, monitoring and reporting their conditions, getting to and from the doctor or physical therapist, or paying their heating or cooling bills.


Receiving such assistance can help keep them stable, in their home and out of expensive acute care facilities. Japan and Korea have had integrated health and social program organizations for decades. In Queensland, Australia, most of the disabled population have mild conditions and use a tool to assess their own needs and get referrals to appropriate social and health services and resources. The rest of the disabled population, those with the most chronic and challenging conditions, is assessed by professionals who examine their entire social context and identify the barriers and challenges of each person. They then develop a coordinated care plan specific to that individual. Based on the plan, a care team is created that is made up of a broad range of professionals such as physicians, nurses, teachers, occupational therapists and more. Those providers work together to support the individual’s care plan and to ensure that their needs are met.


27 INSIGHT ON


HOSPITAL & HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT VOL. 3 ISSUE 3 August 2014


By enabling integrated and better-coordinated care, cities, communities and regions can reduce overall costs, improve the economic health of the community and increase the quality of life for these individuals.


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