Clinical Integration

Last Updated: June 20, 2018

Definition - What does Clinical Integration mean?

Clinical integration is a process used to coordinate an individual's patient care. The goal of clinical integration is to ensure that patient care is managed and coordinated properly between providers, services and settings. The American Medical Association (AMA) indicates that clinical integration should be used to provide the most safe, effective, timely and patient-focused treatment to individuals. Clinical integration depends on the cooperation of diverse health are providers. Each organization or provider must work to create systems that permit the sharing of information and the coordination of care.

WorkplaceTesting explains Clinical Integration

When the United States enacted Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2011, clinical integration was included as a cornerstone of its implementation. Beyond just using electronic health records, the act encourages hospitals and other health care organizations to work together to ensure adequate coordination of individual health care service provision. By coordinating care across providers and settings, clinical integration should serve to reduce costs and improve the quality of care provided to patients.

Without clinical integration, serious health concerns can be caused by duplicate or incompatible care of a patient from different providers. For example, if a patient sees one doctor for a cold and a different doctor for an eye condition but the two offices do not communicate so that both know what conditions the patient is dealing with and what medications he is on then the eye doctor could prescribe a medication that is unnecessary (eye trouble could be a side effect of a cold medication) or that aggravates a different condition (if the patient has diabetes for example) or worse. By coordinating care, duplicate, dangerous, and unneccissary services can be elimated.

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