Integrated care in a fragmented system

“Uncoordinated,” “reactive,” and “expensive” — all terms used by the Institute of Medicine to describe the fragmented U.S. health care system.  “Fragmented care” is a common experience for patients, especially those treated by both primary care and specialist physicians. Without timely communication between providers, a patient may face duplicate diagnostic tests, contradictory therapies, prescription interactions, and mounting health care costs.

An important push towards integrative care is the establishment of multi-specialty medical groups.  Using the patient’s single medical record, specialists work with primary care providers to maintain a comprehensive file of the patient’s care.  

Integration of resources increases the quality of a patient’s care, and decreases the patient’s total health care expenses.