The Symphony Project is designed to identify which groups of the South Somerset population in England would most benefit from greater integration across primary, community, acute and social care settings.
We analysed linked health and social care data for the entire South Somerset population for the financial year 2012/2013. The data captured acute, primary, community, mental health and social care utilisation and costs; demographic characteristics; and indicators of morbidity for each individual. We employed generalized linear models to analyse variation in annual health and social care costs for all 114,874 members of the South Somerset population and for 1458 individuals with three or more selected chronic conditions.
We found that multi-morbidity, not age, was the key driver of health and social care costs. Moreover, the number of chronic conditions is as useful as information about specific conditions at predicting costs. We are able to explain 7% of the variation in total annual costs for population as a whole, and 14% of the variation for those with three or more conditions. We are best able to explain primary care costs, but explanatory power is poor for mental health and social care costs.
The linked dataset makes it possible to understand existing patterns of health and social care utilisation and to analyse variation in annual costs, for the whole population and for sub-groups, in total and by setting. This has made it possible to identify who would most benefit from improved integrated care and to calculate capitated budgets to support financial integration.
integrated care; health and social care costs; morbidity profiles; capitated budgets
Health care providers seek to improve patient-centred care. Due to fragmentation of services, this can only be achieved by establishing integrated care partnerships. The challenge is both to control costs while enhancing the quality of care and to coordinate this process in a setting with many organisations involved. The problem is to establish control mechanisms, which ensure sufficiently consideration of patient centredness.
Theory and methods
Seventeen qualitative interviews have been conducted in hospitals of metropolitan areas in northern Germany. The documentary method, embedded into a systems theoretical framework, was used to describe and analyse the data and to provide an insight into the specific perception of organisational behaviour in integrated care.
The findings suggest that integrated care partnerships rely on networks based on professional autonomy in the context of reliability. The relationships of network partners are heavily based on informality. This correlates with a systems theoretical conception of organisations, which are assumed autonomous in their decision-making.
Conclusion and discussion
Networks based on formal contracts may restrict professional autonomy and competition. Contractual bindings that suppress the competitive environment have negative consequences for patient-centred care. Drawbacks remain due to missing self-regulation of the network. To conclude, less regimentation of integrated care partnerships is recommended.
patient centredness; integrated care; DRG; systems theory
There is a need for individualized discharge planning to support frail older persons at hospital discharge. In this context, active participation on their behalf cannot be taken for granted. The aim of this study was to elucidate patient participation in discharge planning conferences, with a focus on frail older persons, supported by the theory of positioning described by Harré & van Langenhove.
The study was designed as a case study based on audio-recordings of multidisciplinary discharge planning conferences and interviews with health professionals elucidating their opinions on preconditions for patient participation in discharge planning. The analysis has been performed using qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis. Data collection took place during 2008–2009 and included 40 health professionals and 13 frail older persons in hospital or municipal settings.
Findings revealed four different positions of participation, characterized by the older person's level of activity during the conference and his/her appearance as being reduced (patient) or whole (person). The positions varied dynamically from being an active person, passive person, active patient, or passive patient and the health professionals, next-of-kin, and the older persons themselves contributed to the positioning.
The findings showed how the institutional setting served as a purposeful structure or a confinement to patient participation.
patient participation; hospital discharge; frail older persons
In the Finnish primary health care, relational continuity of care is implemented in integrated maternity and child health clinics where the same nurse takes care of the family from the pregnancy until the child reaches school age. The aim of this study was to clarify the association between this relational continuity of care and the availability, utilisation and selected features of the maternity and child health clinic services, as evaluated by the parents.
A comparative, cross-sectional service evaluation survey was used. Eighteen months after their baby's delivery, mothers (N = 987) and fathers (N = 835) from Southwest Finland evaluated specific maternity and child health clinic services. Comparisons were made between the parents who had relational continuity of care in the integrated maternity and child health clinics and those who did not.
Home visits were more frequently provided when relational continuity of care in integrated maternity and child health clinics existed. Parents who had this relational continuity of care, evaluated several features of the service, especially provided support, more positively than parents who did not.
Relational continuity of care in integrated maternity and child health clinics seems to increase parents’ satisfaction with the services and might increase the provision of home visits.
comparative study; child health services; maternal health services; continuity of patient care; STEPS study
Lack of appropriate electronic tools for supporting patient involvement and
collaboration with care professionals is a problem in health care.
Care and rehabilitation processes of post-discharge stroke patients were analysed
using the concept of interaction points where patients, next-of-kin and care
professionals interact and exchange information. Thirteen interviews with care
professionals and five non-participatory observations were performed. Data were
analysed using content analysis and modelling of interaction points in the patient
Patient participation and interaction patterns vary; patients requiring home care
have a passive role and next-of-kin or nurses become advocates by coordinating
care on behalf of the patient, whereas patients who are able to visit primary care
coordinate their own care by initiating interactions. Important categories of
participation include the following: participation in care planning, in monitoring
risk factors and in rehabilitation planning.
Designing a supportive electronic tool requires understanding the interactions and
patients’ activity levels at each interaction point. A tool for patients
with higher activity level should support them to coordinate their own care,
whereas for a less-active patient group, the tool could focus on supporting
next-of-kin and care professionals in motivating, guiding and including passive
patients in their care and rehabilitation processes.
stroke; electronic tool; rehabilitation; care planning; patient participation; integrated care
This study explores the short-term value of integrated care for the frail elderly by evaluating the effects of the Walcheren Integrated Care Model on health, quality of life, health care use and satisfaction with care after three months.
Frailty was preventively detected in elderly living at home with the Groningen Frailty Indicator. Geriatric nurse practitioners and secondary care geriatric nursing specialists were assigned as case managers and co-ordinated the care agreed upon in a multidisciplinary meeting. The general practitioner practice functions as a single entry point and supervises the co-ordination of care. The intervention encompasses task reassignment between nurses and doctors and consultations between primary, secondary and tertiary care providers. The entire process was supported by multidisciplinary protocols and web-based patient files.
The design of this study was quasi-experimental. In this study, 205 frail elderly patients of three general practitioner practices that implemented the integrated care model were compared with 212 frail elderly patients of five general practitioner practices that provided usual care. The outcomes were assessed using questionnaires. Baseline measures were compared with a three-month follow-up by chi-square tests, t-tests and regression analysis.
Results and conclusion
In the short term, the integrated care model had a significant effect on the attachment aspect of quality of life. The frail elderly patients were better able to obtain the love and friendship they desire. The use of care did not differ despite the preventive element and the need for assessments followed up with case management in the integrated care model. In the short term, there were no significant changes in health. As frailty is a progressive state, it is assumed that three months are too short to influence changes in health with integrated care models. A more longitudinal approach is required to study the value of integrated care on changes in health and the preservation of the positive effects on quality of life and health care use.
frail elderly; integrated care; short-term effects
A number of reforms have been implemented in Swedish health care to support integrated care for frail older people and to reduce utilization of hospital care by this group. Outcomes and process indicators have been used in pay-for-performance (P4P) schemes by both national and local governments to support developments.
To analyse limitations in the use of outcome and process indicators to incentivize integrated care for elderly patients with significant health care needs in the context of primary care.
Data were collected from the Region Skåne county council. Eight primary care providers and associated community services were compared in a ranking exercise based on information from interviews and registered data. Registered data from 150 primary care providers were analysed in regression models.
Results and conclusion
Both the ranking exercise and regression models revealed important problems related to risk-adjustment, attribution, randomness and measurement fixation when using indicators in P4P schemes and for external accountability purposes. Instead of using indicators in incentive schemes targeting individual providers, indicators may be used for diagnostic purposes and to support development of new knowledge, targeting local systems that move beyond organizational boundaries.
integrated care; primary care; frail elderly; incentives; outcome indicators; process indicators
While integrated care for diabetes mellitus type 2 has achieved good results in terms of intermediate clinical and process outcomes, the evidence-based knowledge on its implementation is scarce, and insights generalisable to other settings therefore remain limited.
This study protocol provides a description of the design and methodology of a mixed methods study on the implementation of integrated care for type 2 diabetes. The aim of the proposed research is to investigate the mechanisms by which and the context in which integrated care for type 2 diabetes has been implemented, which outcomes have been achieved and how the context and mechanisms have affected the outcomes.
This article describes a convergent parallel mixed methods research design, including a systematic literature review on the implementation of integrated care for type 2 diabetes as well as a case study on two Dutch best practices on integrated care for type 2 diabetes.
The implementation of integrated care for diabetes type 2 is an under-researched area. Insights from this study could be applied to other settings as well as other chronic conditions to strengthen the evidence on the implementation of integrated care.
integrated care; type 2 diabetes; implementation; disease management; chronic care model; mixed methods
In 2007, a substantial reform changed the administrative boundaries of the Danish health care system and introduced health care agreements to be signed between municipal and regional authorities. To assess the health care agreements as a tool for coordinating health and social services, a survey was conducted before (2005–2006) and after the reform (2011).
Theory and methods
The study was designed on the basis of a modified version of Alter and Hage's framework for conceptualising coordination. Both surveys addressed all municipal level units (n = 271/98) and a random sample of general practitioners (n = 700/853).
The health care agreements were considered more useful for coordinating care than the previous health plans. The power relationship between the regional and municipal authorities in drawing up the agreements was described as more equal. Familiarity with the agreements among general practitioners was higher, as was the perceived influence of the health care agreements on their work.
Health care agreements with specific content and with regular follow-up and systematic mechanisms for organising feedback between collaborative partners exemplify a useful tool for the coordination of health and social services.
There are substantial improvements with the new health agreements in terms of formalising a better coordination of the health care system.
integrated care; coordinated care; health planning; National Health System; Denmark
The use of case studies in health services research has proven to be an excellent methodology for gaining in-depth understanding of the organisation and delivery of health care. This is particularly relevant when looking at the complexity of integrated healthcare programmes, where multifaceted interactions occur at the different levels of care and often without a clear link between the interventions (new and/or existing) and their impact on outcomes (in terms of patients health, both patient and professional satisfaction and cost-effectiveness). Still, integrated care is seen as a core strategy in the sustainability of health and care provision in most societies in Europe and beyond. More specifically, at present, there is neither clear evidence on transferable factors of integrated care success nor a method for determining how to establish these specific success factors. The drawback of case methodology in this case, however, is that the in-depth results or lessons generated are usually highly context-specific and thus brings the challenge of transferability of findings to other settings, as different health care systems and different indications are often not comparable. Project INTEGRATE, a European Commission-funded project, has been designed to overcome these problems; it looks into four chronic conditions in different European settings, under a common methodology framework (taking a mixed-methods approach) to try to overcome the issue of context specificity and limited transferability. The common methodological framework described in this paper seeks to bring together the different case study findings in a way that key lessons may be derived and transferred between countries, contexts and patient-groups, where integrated care is delivered in order to provide insight into generalisability and build on existing evidence in this field.
To compare the different integrated care experiences, a mixed-methods approach has been adopted with the creation of a common methodological framework (including data collection tools and case study template report) to be used by the case studies for their analyses.
Methods of analysis
The four case studies attempt to compare health care services before and after the ‘integration’ of care, while triangulating the findings using quantitative and qualitative data, and provide an in-depth description of the organisation and delivery of care, and the impact on outcomes. The common framework aims to allow for the extraction of key transferable learning from the cases, taking into account context-dependency.
The application and evaluation of the common methodological approach aim to distill and identify important elements for successful integrated care, in order to strengthen the evidence base for integrated care (by facilitating cross-context comparisons), increase the transferability of findings from highly context-specific to other settings and lead to concrete and practical policy and operational recommendations.
delivery of health care; integrated; integrated care; organisational case studies; Europe; health policy
This study describes the characteristics of extramural and transmural telemonitoring projects on chronic heart failure in Belgium. It describes to what extent these telemonitoring projects coincide with the Chronic Care Model of Wagner.
The Chronic Care Model describes essential components for high-quality health care. Telemonitoring can be used to optimise home care for chronic heart failure. It provides a potential prospective to change the current care organisation.
This qualitative study describes seven non-invasive home-care telemonitoring projects in patients with heart failure in Belgium. A qualitative design, including interviews and literature review, was used to describe the correspondence of these home-care telemonitoring projects with the dimensions of the Chronic Care Model.
The projects were situated in primary and secondary health care. Their primary goal was to reduce the number of readmissions for chronic heart failure. None of these projects succeeded in a final implementation of telemonitoring in home care after the pilot phase. Not all the projects were initiated to accomplish all of the dimensions of the Chronic Care Model. A central role for the patient was sparse.
Limited financial resources hampered continuation after the pilot phase. Cooperation and coordination in telemonitoring appears to be major barriers but are, within primary care as well as between the lines of care, important links in follow-up. This discrepancy can be prohibitive for deployment of good chronic care. Chronic Care Model is recommended as basis for future.
primary health care; nursing evaluation research; chronic care model; telemedicine; heart failure; patient-centred care
Integrated care is increasingly present in the agenda of policy-makers, health professionals and researchers as a way to improve care services in relation to access, quality, user satisfaction and efficiency. These are overarching objectives of most sectoral reforms. However, health care and social care services and systems are more and more dependent on the performance of each other, imposing the logic of network. Demographic, epidemiologic and cultural changes result in pressure to increase efficiency and efficacy of services and organisations in both sectors and that is why integrated care has become so relevant in the last years.
We first used concept maps to organise and systematise information that we had gathered through deep literature review in order to set a framework where to base the subsequent work. Then, we interviewed informants at several levels of the health and social care systems and we built a list of major recent reforms addressing integrated care in Portugal. In a third step, we conducted two independent focus groups where those reforms were discussed and evaluated within the context of the concepts and frameworks identified from the literature. Results were confronted and reconciled, giving place to a list of requisites and guidelines that oriented further search for documentation on those reforms.
Several important health reforms are in course in primary and hospital care in Portugal, while a so-called third level of care has been introduced with the launch of the National Network of Long-Term Integrated Care (RNCCI – Rede Nacional de Cuidados Continuados Integrados). The social care sector has itself been a subject of alternative models springing from opposite political orientations. All these changes are having repercussions on the way the systems work with each other as they are leading to ongoing and ill-evaluated reformulations on the way they are governed, financed, structured and operated.
Care integration is not absent from policy-making and implementation endeavour in Portugal. However, recurrent issues seem to be consistently hampering the efforts regarding the integration of care in the country. It is urgent to assess current situation as experienced by those closely involved and directly affected.
care systems integration; health care reform; social care reform; Portugal
This paper assesses the policy developments pertaining to the implementation of an integrated approach to domestic violence over the past 15 years. The contextual setting is outlined in terms of the international policy response to the problem of domestic violence based on an ecological perspective.
Description of policy and case
Periods of core strategic policy and related structural developments are considered illustrating the Irish experience of domestic violence policy-making and service provision. The value of adopting an integrated approach to domestic violence based on the rationale of improving strategic policy formulation, coordinating service provision and facilitating joined-up governance is set out. The core facilitators and challenges associated with such an approach are described.
Analysis and conclusion
The policy framework and restructured landscape of domestic violence in Ireland has undergone significant change over the past decade and a half. The paper uses a three-dimensional matrix of domestic violence policy development and service integration as a means of addressing horizontal, vertical and resource aspects of collaboration and integration. While the changes have been characterised by significant phases of fluctuation in terms of coordinated action and the situation currently appears promising, however it is too early to judge the outcomes of the most recent reforms.
domestic violence; Ireland; integration; coordination; joined-up; ecological; health sector; justice sector
Although several measurement instruments have been developed to measure the level of integrated health care delivery, no standardised, validated instrument exists covering all aspects of integrated care. The purpose of this review is to identify the instruments concerning how to measure the level of integration across health-care sectors and to assess and evaluate the organisational elements within the instruments identified.
An extensive, systematic literature review in PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, Web of Science for the years 1980–2011. Selected abstracts were independently reviewed by two investigators.
We identified 23 measurement instruments and, within these, eight organisational elements were found. No measurement instrument covered all organisational elements, but almost all studies include well-defined structural and process aspects and six include cultural aspects; 14 explicitly stated using a theoretical framework.
Conclusion and discussion
This review did not identify any measurement instrument covering all aspects of integrated care. Further, a lack of uniform use of the eight organisational elements across the studies was prevalent. It is uncertain whether development of a single ‘all-inclusive’ model for assessing integrated care is desirable. We emphasise the continuing need for validated instruments embedded in theoretical contexts.
integrated care; systematic literature review; measurement instruments; organisational elements
Notwithstanding care for chronically ill patients requires a shift towards care that is well coordinated and focused on prevention and self-care, the concept of integrated care lacks specificity and clarity. This article presents a literature review to identify mechanisms for achieving integrated care objectives.
Theory and methods
Existing models often present a large variety of dimensions, archetypes and categories of integration without specifying them. Models and programmes describing integrated care for chronic diseases were reviewed. Data were extracted related to objectives and clusters of mechanisms of integration.
Thirty-four studies presented four objectives: functional, organisational, professional and service integration. We categorised approaches and interventions to achieve these objectives by strategy and clusters of ‘mechanisms of integration’: degree, patient centredness and normative aspects.
Conclusions and discussion
The clarification of mechanisms to achieve objectives of integrated care as presented may be used as starting point for the development and refinement of integrated care programmes, including methodological grounding of their evaluation. Given that most studies reviewed lack both empirical data and descriptions of the methods used, future research needs to close these gaps. Validation of the findings by a large panel of experts is suggested as recommendation to work towards a grounded framework.
delivery of health care; integrated; integrated health-care systems; health-care reform; classification; literature review; models organisational
Intermediate care is an organisational approach to improve the coordination of health care services between health care levels. In Central Norway an intermediate care hospital was established in a municipality to improve discharge from a general hospital to primary health care. The aim of this study was to investigate how health professionals experienced hospital discharge of elderly patients to primary health care with and without an intermediate care hospital.
A qualitative study with data collected through semi-structured focus groups and individual interviews.
Discharge via the intermediate care hospital was contrasted favourably compared to discharge directly from hospital to primary health care. Although increased capacity to receive patients from hospital and prepare them for discharge to primary health care was viewed as a benefit, professionals still requested better communication with the preceding care level concerning further treatment and care for the elderly patients.
The intermediate care hospital reduced the coordination challenges during discharge of elderly patients from hospital to primary health care. Nevertheless, the intermediate care was experienced more like an extension of hospital than an included part of primary health care and did not meet the need for communication across care levels.
intermediate care hospital; hospital discharge; elderly; integrated care; coordination; professional communication
Elderly people aged over 75 years with multifaceted care needs are often in need of hospital treatment. Transfer across care levels for this patient group increases the risk of adverse events. The aim of this paper is to establish knowledge of quality in transitional care of the elderly in two Norwegian hospital regions by identifying issues affecting the quality of transitional care and based on these issues suggest improvement measures.
Included in the study were elderly patients (75+) receiving health care in the municipality admitted to hospital emergency department or discharged to community health care with hip fracture or with a general medical diagnosis. Participant observations of admission and discharge transitions (n = 41) were carried out by two researchers.
Six main challenges with belonging descriptions have been identified: (1) next of kin (bridging providers, advocacy, support, information brokering), (2) patient characteristics (level of satisfaction, level of insecurity, complex clinical conditions), (3) health care personnel's competence (professional, system, awareness of others’ roles), (4) information exchange (oral, written, electronic), (5) context (stability, variability, change incentives, number of patient handovers) and (6) patient assessment (complex clinical picture, patient description, clinical assessment).
Related to the six main challenges, several measures have been suggested to improve quality in transitional care, e.g. information to and involvement of patients and next of kin, staff training, standardisation of routines and inter-organisational staff meetings.
transitional care; patient handover; quality; elderly; participant observations
Collaboration was legislated in the delivery of integrated care in the early 2000s in the UK. This research explored how the reality of practice met the rhetoric of collaboration.
The paper is situated against a theoretical framework of structure, agency, identity and empowerment. Collectively and contextually these concepts inform the proposed model of ‘collaborative agency’ to sustain integrated care. The paper brings sociological theory on structure and agency to the dilemma of collaboration.
Participative action research was carried out in collaborative teams that aspired to achieve integrated care for children, young people and families between 2009 and 2013. It was a part time, PhD study in collaborative practice.
The research established that people needed to be able to be jointly aware of their context, to make joint decisions, and jointly act in order to deliver integrated services, and proposes a model of collaborative agency derived from practitioner’s experiences and integrated action research and literature on agency. The model reflects the effects of a range of structures in shaping professional identity, empowerment, and agency in a dynamic. The author proposes that the collaborative agency model will support integrated care, although this is, as yet, an untested hypothesis.
integrated; collaborative; agency
The successful transfer of an older patient between health care organizations requires open communication between them that details relevant and necessary information about the patient's health status and individual needs. The objective of this study was to identify and describe the process and content of the patient information exchange between nurses in home care and hospital during hospitalization of older home-living patients.
A multiple case study design was used. Using observations, qualitative interviews and document reviews, the total patient information exchange during each patient's episode of hospitalization (n = 9), from day of admission to return home, was captured.
Information exchange mainly occurred at discharge, including a discharge note sent from hospital to home care, and telephone reports from hospital nurse to home care nurse, and meetings between hospital nurse and patient coordinator from the municipal purchaser unit. No information was provided from the home care nurses to the hospital nurses at admission. Incompleteness in the content of both written and verbal information was found. Information regarding physical care was more frequently reported than other caring dimensions. Descriptions of the patients’ subjective experiences were almost absent and occurred only in the verbal communication.
The gap in the information flow, as well as incompleteness in the content of written and verbal information exchanged, constitutes a challenge to the continuity of care for hospitalized home-living patients. In order to ensure appropriate nursing follow-up care, we emphasize the need for nurses to improve the information flow, as well as to use a more comprehensive approach to older patients, and that this must be reflected in the verbal and written information exchange.
older people; transfer; nursing information exchange; hospitalization; home care
Following hip fracture surgery, patients often experience multiple transitions through different care settings, with resultant challenges to the quality and continuity of patient care. Family caregivers can play a key role in these transitions, but are often poorly engaged in the process. We aimed to: (1) examine the characteristics of the family caregivers’ experience of communication and information sharing and (2) identify facilitators and barriers of effective information sharing among patients, family caregivers and health care providers.
Using an ethnographic approach, we followed 11 post-surgical hip fracture patients through subsequent care transitions in rural Ontario; in-depth interviews were conducted with patients, family caregivers (n = 8) and health care providers (n = 24).
Priority areas for improved information sharing relate to trust and respect, involvement, and information needs and expectations; facilitators and barriers included prior health care experience, trusting relationships and the rural setting.
As with knowledge translation, effective strategies to improve information sharing and care continuity for older patients with chronic illness may be those that involve active facilitation of an on-going partnership that respects the knowledge of all those involved.
hip fracture; rural health care; family caregivers; ethnography; continuity of care
Many countries face ageing-related demographic and epidemiological challenges, notably neurodegenerative disorders, due to the multiple care services they require, thereby pleading for a more integrated system of care. The integrated Quebecois method issued from the Programme of Research to Integrate Services for the Maintenance of Autonomy inspired a French pilot experiment and the National Alzheimer Plan 2008–2012. Programme of Research to Integrate Services for the Maintenance of Autonomy method implementation was rated with an evaluation grid adapted to assess its successive degrees of completion.
The approaching end of the president's term led to the method's institutionalization (2011–2012), before the implementation study ended. When the government changed, the study was interrupted. The results extracted from that ‘lost’ study (presented herein) have, nonetheless, ‘found’ some key lessons.
It was possible to implement a Quebecois integrated-care method in France. We describe the lessons and pitfalls encountered in adapting this evaluation tool. This process is necessarily multidisciplinary and requires a test phase. A simple tool for quantitative assessment of integration was obtained. The first assessment of the tool was unsatisfactory but requires further studies. In the meantime, we recommend using mixed methodologies to assess the services integration level.
method of integrated care; assessment of implementation; geriatric services integration
Background and aim
As a result of New Public Management, a number of industrial models of quality management have been implemented in health care, mainly in hospitals. At the same time, the concept of integrated care has been developed within other parts of the health sector. The aim of the article is to discuss the relevance of integrated care for hospitals.
Theory and methods
The discussion is based on application of a conceptual framework outlining a number of organizational models of integrated care. These models are illustrated in a case study of a Danish university hospital implementing a new organization for improving the patient flows of the hospital. The study of the reorganization is based mainly on qualitative data from individual and focus group interviews.
The new organization of the university hospital can be regarded as a matrix structure combining a vertical integration of clinical departments with a horizontal integration of patient flows. This structure has elements of both interprofessional and interorganizational integration. A strong focus on teamwork, meetings and information exchange is combined with elements of case management and co-location.
It seems that integrated care can be a relevant concept for a hospital. Although the organizational models may challenge established professional boundaries and financial control systems, this concept can be a more promising way to improve the quality of care than the industrial models that have been imported into health care. This application of the concept may also contribute to widen the field of integrated care.
process orientation; integrated care; organizational models; patient flows