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Integrated care models offer seamless access to health services

Article-Integrated care models offer seamless access to health services

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The availability of significant patient data allows doctors to make informed decisions and provide ideal courses of treatment.

Integrated models of care in healthcare systems are characterised by enhanced collaboration and communication between professionals, facilities and support systems to address patient needs and enhance their overall quality of life by providing better outcomes for disease management, diagnosis, and treatment.  

With such models in place, healthcare practitioners, home care professionals, therapists and other medical providers can work together to better understand the needs of the patient and create a comprehensive treatment plan to treat their prevailing conditions. Besides improving access to services, this collaborative approach towards patient care also significantly helps reduce healthcare costs and provides patients with the solutions they need in just a few doctor visits. Information exchange between medical practitioners also helps expedite diagnosis and eliminate the requirement of unnecessary medical tests and exams, further reducing costs to patients and healthcare companies.  

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Dr. Malathi A, Group Chief Medical Officer and Group Chief Quality Officer at Aster DM Healthcare, believes that an integrated healthcare system prioritises preventive care that results in healthier consequences for patients and long-term cost savings for employers and providers. She added that having similar models in place allows employers to stand out from their competition, as it accentuates the importance of employee health to the organisation. The “myAster”, for instance, helps patients book appointments and online consultations and gives access to medical records, prescriptions, and scans for both patients and doctors.  

These models of care help recognise and manage complex underlying pathologies and allow for seamless integration between primary care and acute hospital services to manage high-risk patients with complex and chronic health conditions better. It has also been linked to significant reductions in service utilisation by improving case coordination, enhancing system management and assessing and managing caregiver needs.  

Earlier this year, the UAE health authorities, including the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), Department of Health — Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced the successful integration of ‘Riayati’, the National Unified Medical Record (NUMR), ‘Malaffi’, and “Nabidh” platforms. These platforms provide access to significant patient data that allows doctors to make informed decisions regarding their treatment course and allows healthcare companies to develop programmes and initiatives that transform the health of society. The Riayati platform has by far included 1.9 billion medical records for 9.5 million patients, which can be accessed by over 90,000 health service providers in 3,057 medical facilities.  

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According to Dr. Malathi, there is potential for integrated and patient-centred care to improve the timely provision of appropriate care, increase patient attendance, reduce the incidence or potential impact of conflicting clinical advice, decrease cases of unnecessary hospitalisations, and, most importantly, enhance the patient experience.  

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