PURPOSE: In the development of integrated care, there is an increasing need for knowledge about the actual degree of integration between different providers of health services. The purpose of this article is to describe the conceptualisation and validation of a practical model for measurement, which can be used by managers to implement and sustain integrated care.
THEORY: The model is based on a continuum of integration, extending from full segregation through intermediate forms of linkage, coordination and cooperation to full integration.
METHODS: The continuum was operationalised into a ratio scale of functional clinical integration. This scale was used in an explorative study of a local health authority in Sweden. Data on integration were collected in self-assessment forms together with estimated ranks of optimum integration between the different units of the health authority. The data were processed with statistical methods and the results were discussed with the managers concerned.
RESULTS: Judging from this explorative study, it seems that the model of measurement collects reliable and valid data of functional clinical integration in local health care. The model was also regarded as a useful instrument for managers of integrated care.
DISCUSSION: One of the main advantages with the model is that it includes optimum ranks of integration beside actual ranks. The optimum integration rank between two units is depending on the needs of both differentiation and integration.
|Journal||International Journal of Integrated Care|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy (30301)