Development of a heart failure center: a medical center and cardiology practice join forces to improve care and reduce costs .
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a rapidly growing and expensive cardiovascular disorder. Conventional care for CHF is ineffective and results in a cycle of "crisis management" that includes repeated emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and physician visits. Recently, a number of outpatient coronary care centers that provide consistent, aggressive outpatient therapies and extensive patient education have emerged and are successfully breaking this cycle of dependence on hospital services. One such effort is the Heart Institute's Heart Failure Center, the result of a partnership between a private-practice cardiology group and our tertiary-care medical center. Our program includes not only patient education and outpatient infusions of inotropic agents, but an electronic linkage to the emergency department and home healthcare services. Preliminary data show that 16 months after the program was initiated, hospital admissions decreased by 30%, hospital days by 42% and average length of stay by 17%. An effective outpatient heart failure program can alleviate the economic burden of CHF and improve the quality of patient care. (+info)
Primary health care in Turkey: a passing fashion?
The Alma-Ata Declaration has long been regarded as a watershed in the health policy arena. The global goal of the World Health Organization, 'Health for All by the Year 2000' through primary health care, has attracted many countries both in the developed and the developing world and commitments to this end have been made at every level. However, albeit this consensus on the paper, a common and explicit definition of the concept has not been reached yet. This paper aims at discussing various definitions of primary health care that emerged after the Declaration and also presenting a case study from Turkey, a country that advocates primary health care in her recent health policy reform attempts. After setting the conceptual framework for discussion the Turkish case is presented by using research carried out among Turkish policy-makers at different levels of the State apparatus. It has been concluded that application of primary health care principles as defined in the broad definition of the concept requires major changes or rather shake-ups in Turkey. These areas are outlined briefly at the end of the paper. (+info)
Five laws for integrating medical and social services: lessons from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Because persons with disabilities (PWDs) use health and social services extensively, both the United States and the United Kingdom have begun to integrate care across systems. Initiatives in these two countries are examined within the context of the reality that personal needs and use of systems differ by age and by type and severity of disability. The lessons derived from this scrutiny are presented in the form of five "laws" of integration. These laws identify three levels of integration, point to alternative roles for physicians, outline resource requirements, highlight friction from differing medical and social paradigms, and urge policy makers and administrators to consider carefully who would be most appropriately selected to design, oversee, and administer integration initiatives. Both users and caregivers must be involved in planning to ensure that all three levels of integration are attended to and that the borders between medical and other systems are clarified. (+info)
Integrating healthcare for older populations.
The complex array of needs posed by older adults has frequently produced fragmentation of care in traditional fee-for-service systems. Integration of care components in newer health systems will maximize patient benefits and organizational efficiency. This article outlines the major issues involved in integration of care for older populations. A health system must integrate its care of older adults in many ways: among providers, both in primary care and specialty services; with community-based sources of care; and across sites of care (clinic, hospital, emergency department, and nursing home). Integrating reimbursement structures for various services will serve to create a client-oriented system, as opposed to a finance-centered system, thereby enhancing coordination of care. The extent to which two experimental comprehensive systems, PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care of the Elderly) and SHMO II (Social Health Maintenance Organization), have achieved clinical and financial integration are discussed in detail. Healthcare organizations are encouraged to create integrated models of care and to study the effects of integration on patient outcomes. (+info)
The spectrum of prevention: developing a comprehensive approach to injury prevention.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to describe the "spectrum of prevention", a framework for developing multifaceted approaches to injury prevention. The value of the tool is that it can help practitioners develop and structure comprehensive initiatives. METHODS: The spectrum is comprised of six inter-related action levels: (1) strengthening individual knowledge and skills, (2) promoting community education, (3) educating providers, (4) fostering coalitions and networks, (5) changing organizational practices, and (6) influencing policy and legislation. Activities at each of these levels have the potential to support each other and promote overall community health and safety. CONCLUSIONS: The spectrum of prevention is a tool which can help practitioners and policy leaders move beyond a primarily educational approach to achieve broad community goals through injury prevention strategies that include policy development. This framework has been endorsed and applied in a variety of disciplines, however it has not been formally evaluated, a process that could clarify the scope of its effectiveness. (+info)
Innovative healthcare for chronically ill older persons: results of a national survey.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the origin, scope, operations, funding, and outcomes of innovative healthcare programs for chronically ill older persons. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. METHODS: A national expert panel nominated chronic illness programs they believed to be innovative and field tested. The directors of the 31 eligible programs provided descriptive information in 60-minute semistructured telephone interviews. RESULTS: The innovative programs we surveyed tended to target their services to high-risk patients, use teams of providers to deliver care, designate providers to coordinate multiple components of complex care plans, and shift care from higher- to lower-cost environments and/or redesign the delivery of primary care. CONCLUSIONS: Recent innovations in healthcare programs hold considerable promise for improving the outcomes of chronic care, but most have yet to be rigorously evaluated. (+info)
Maternal substance abuse and infant health: policy options across the life course.
Maternal substance abuse is a significant contributor to infant morbidity and mortality. The setting of prenatal care has long been the focus of interventions and policies to prevent these adverse outcomes. However, substance abuse programs and policies that are designed for women who are not yet pregnant can have a significant impact upon this problem. Thus it is essential to view the female life course from a broader perspective in order to consider the full range of policy options for reducing the infant mortality and morbidity caused by maternal substance abuse. This framework also allows comparisons across and between substances and offers new directions for policy development. (+info)
Comprehensive mental health care in a pediatric dialysis-transplantation program.
The dialysis-transplantation (D-T) program at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto has a mental health component directed by a psychiatrist and a social worker. As of Jan. 1, 1975, 53 kidney transplants had been carried out on 44 children. Patients and their families are counselled continuously by the psychiatrist and the social worker before, during and after transplantation. Members of the multidisciplinary team meet regularly to plan treatment for the children. Mental health issues are an integral part of team discussions and help determine D-T program policy. Psychological preparation, mental health consultation, therapeutic intervention and continuous counselling prevent many of the mental health problems that plague a D-T program. (+info)