An integrated health system should be comprised of highly integrated primary care networks. Primary care networks are essential for better coordination of activities within a health care system.
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In this respect, primary care networks ensures that services, doctors, nurses and physicians work towards achievement of a common goal. In regard to a community or regional health care system, primary care networks ensure that a framework of coordination and goals is developed.
In most cases, the following acts as goals subscribed by primary care networks. First, the main goal for primary care networks is to ensure that there is coordination in management of health care. Secondly, the primary care networks ensure that the number of primary care beneficiaries increases. Primary care networks in an integrated health system are critical in promoting health care in a community or region.
Primary care networks in an integrated health system depend on an organization’s structure. From this perspective, an organizational design that is planned, coordinated and implemented by leaders of the health system is essential. According to Zismer (2011), the structure of an integrated health system must be driven by a psychological element.
This means that various factors must be considered, before a primary care network or integrated health system is developed. For example, some advantages enjoyed by doctors or physicians must be compromised. At some point, some medical practitioners and staff will be relived from their duties. This will be done to ensure that the integrated health system achieves cost efficiency.
An example of an integrated health system structure is one that has a unified multispecialty group.
A unified multispecialty group enjoys the leadership of a governing body. The stature of a governing body is senior to that of a system’s chief executive officer (CEO). The CEO is elected by members from both the community and the physicians’ board committee. The CEO also leads a senior leadership team made up of clinical directors and members from clinical integration council.
On the other hand, the clinical integration council manages and coordinates several functions within the system. Such functions include the inpatient, ambulance, medical practice and administrative functions.
Basically, a unified multispecialty group exemplifies how primary care networks are structured in a health system. Despite the fact that the structure of an integrated health system has diversified functions, the structure is networked. The network is made up of organized group of medical practitioners under specific leadership. For example doctors or physicians take charge in leadership of councils or committees.
Another example of a well networked health system is a divisional physician service structure. This structure is an example of an integrated health system design. The leadership of such a health system structure is headed by a governing body, followed by a CEO, a senior leadership team and finally a clinical integration council.
The CEO controls the physician services board committee, while the senior leadership team controls physician services. The clinical integration council controls the health systems departments. Basically, a division model structure ensures that all divisions are networked, but allows independence of operations. However, a division model ensures that networking on specialty group is enhanced to improve service delivery.
As indicated earlier, a fully integrated health care system must consist of a high-functioning primary care network. From this perspective, the Dyadic management model has been perceived as an ideal integration model in health systems.
The dyadic management model in networking and integrating health systems involves medical professionals and non-medical professionals. The dyad model focuses on division of health care providers, regional and special primary care networks.
The dyad integration model has been instrumental in ensuring there is full realization of both clinical and business opportunities. This is realized through collaboration and complementing of both clinical and non-clinical efforts.
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The obligation of a physician or medical practitioner in a dyad model is to provide quality health care services. The physician is mandated to improve standards in patient primary care and comply with health care standards. The physician is expected to observe and comply with health care policies.
On the other hand, the non-medical practitioner who acts as the administrator is mandated with running of operations. In this aspect, the administrator manages the health system’s revenue. Such responsibilities are evidenced in capital planning and allocation of funds among divisions.
The administrator is responsible for the management of the health system’s supply chain. Moreover, the administrator plans, coordinates and sources support systems and services. The human resource staffing responsibilities are also done by the administration.
According to Zismer and Brueggemann (2010), the dyad integration model is essential in achieving efficiency. This is derived after division of labor is achieved. For example, physicians, doctors and nurses are only required to focus on clinical services only. The dyad model offers an integrated health system with evidence-based clinical practices.
The management of fixed assets is deemed to improve through a dyad integration model. The management of operations and balanced staffing among the health system specialties is done through integration. In a dyad management integration model, the CEO is perceived as the overall manager in the health system structure.
It is important for St. Louis hospital to have a strategic approach towards achieving an integrated health system. According to Zismer and Wegmiller (n.d), the following process can be used by a hospital to achieve the changes required for an integrated health system.
Centralize strategies: This step requires St. Louis hospital’s management to centralize its integrative strategies, operations and any other model used in the hospital. This change will have a positive impact on the hospital’s productivity by achieving team work and efficiency.
Using evidence-based clinical practices: This is by ensuring that clinical procedures and standards are followed by full-time clinical professionals. This change is applicable through research and clinical innovations.
Using financial accounting: Financial accounting can be used for planning, allocation and audit purposes on services offered. This is achievable through accounts administrators.
Continuous monitoring: This is by controlling all functions towards the system’s goals. A control system for both medical professionals and administrators can be used for such purposes.
Expertise: the decision making process is made effective when an integrated health system uses clinicians and non-clinicians.
Quality health care: Highly integrated health systems improve service delivery, especially in clinical operations.
Clinical innovations: When clinicians and physician are given the mandate to run clinical program without interference, they become more productive. This is evinced by running and innovation of clinical programs.
Effective primary acre networks: Primary care networks are an important element in a health care system that seeks to be cost effective and deliver quality medical services.
Zismer, D., K & Brueggemann, J. (2010). Examining the “Dyad” as a management model in integrated health systems. Physician Exec. 36(1), 14-9. Web.
Zismer, D., K & Wegmiller. (n.d.). Clinical service lines: Mapping the future of community health. Web.
Zismer, D., K. (2011). The psychology of organizational structure in integrated health systems. Physician Exec, 37(3), 36-43. Web.