Do we really know how to be person focused? Do the vulnerable members of our modern Australian society true experience the level of care they deserve? Have we got it right? Person centred care – consumer directed care – Integrated Care … What’s really going on?
There is reform in the air. Reform has been on the agenda for a long time. It has been an interesting journey that care services in Australia has taken. It is a necessary journey of reform. Care in Australia now is far superior to the days of old. We don’t restrain people or over medicate them like we use to. There are still anxieties left from those days with several people approaching care today, being scared and scarred by the thought of entering care.
Part of the necessary care reforms have been person centred care, consumer directed care and now integrated care.
Person Centred care is just that – providing services for a person – they should oversee what is happening to them and for them. Consumer directed care is similar with the person evolving into a consumer of care. Some suggest this is merely a lexical change – not a philosophical one. Ideally the person should always direct what goes on. Whether we call them a person or a consumer, it only impacts the funding model. The person receives care that is ultimately governed by the funding available. The issue is in managing funding and applying resources resourcefully. Carers need to develop an awareness of care needs and address their needs. That is carers need to be mindful of how they work with people and mindful of the impact they have on those they care for. Care should be directed by the care receiver and delivered by a mindful care giver. The environment of care impacts the quality of services being delivered.
Over the past decade many definitions, concepts and theories have emerged explaining and defining what integrated care is and how to build a successful integration of services. Check out:
In this paper, entitled Integrated Care Models, published by the World Health Organisation in 2016, the concepts of and practical knowledge in designing and implementing integrated care models are explored. AT the heart of Integrated care is a person / consumer centred approach to health service provision. In Europe today many health systems employ a model of integrated care to improve outcomes for long term people/ patients / consumers. The integrated care model is different in different communities. Integrated care is contextualised to the unique community in which it is being implemented. Integrated care employs community resources in collaboration. This way, community builds a healthier community of individuals. The community is taught to be person focussed.
From here ..
We need to review the elements of care within Australia. The elements of care include the participants – the person, family, care service, care service employee, the systems (how many specialists does a person need to see?) and the community. We need to adopt less of a specialist approach to health care and apply a generalist approach. We need to build care communities that are mindful of the whole person and the environment in which care is delivered.