The 2019 National Forum on Integrated Care will take place on Wednesday, 6 November in O’Reilly Hall University College Dublin and is hosted by IFIC Ireland in association with the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC), the UCD Centre for Integrated Care and Improvement Studies (UCD CICIS) and the Health Service Executive (HSE), Ireland.
Venue: 6 November 2019, University College Dublin (UCD)
Our submitted Abstract:
Technology enabled consumer-based access to primary care and efficient use of currently available resources in the sector.
Primary Health Care is set to come under additional pressure due to demographic changes primarily through, aging and population increase but also due to positive policy changes through Sláintecare and the limited capacity of current resources providing services into the sector. The inequality of distribution locally as well as nationally poses further challenges. One fundamental requirement to deliver integrated care is the availability of timely and accurate information. A key performance indicator should be the actual population demand of Primary Health Care needs matched against the available supply for care in a given community setting. Such information enables a patient–centric approach that would empower the care seeker to choose their preferred supplier for health services at a time and location suitable to them. In practical terms, this will require any publicly funded primary care service (GPs, community and public health nurses, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, chiropodists, physiotherapists, counsellors and psychologists) to make all of their availability publicly accessible on a technology platform that is real-time and 24/7. This platform allows the patient to book the service required and tracks the service utilisation. Benefits of having health care providers consolidated on a single technology platform: The care giver has transparency as to the variety of services required and utilised by the care seeker. Detailed statistical evidence of demand and supply in primary care services i.e. when and where there is additional capacity or further investment in services needed. A consumer-based service that is available 24/7 providing real-time information. Maximisation of existing, limited health care resources. Enable care seekers to view and book their preferred provider along with substitution options (public and/or private) should their provider not be available within a contracted timeframe. Empowers patients to choose services based on their specific needs e.g. access to transport, escort, mobility. Health care providers will reduce repetitive administrative tasks, have better patient engagement and effective management of “do not attends” (DNAs). Up-to-date information driving policy change. Although we only examined the interaction of patients with a single provider in the above context, it is envisaged that this could be expanded within certain constrains among health care providers in general. This would further improve patient engagement and integration as the availability of possible care paths can be determined by any primary care provider within and possibly into the acute care sector as well. In summary, there is a real opportunity to look at a more efficient use of primary care resources already available and accessible with a geographical location. There are clear benefits to patient, 24/7 real-time access to availability and available alternatives based on preferences and for providers by minimising missed appointments and free resource from repetitive administrate tasks. This leads to better patient engaged und resource utilisation that benefits all of us.