Report: Integrated care should be national priority

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Ensuring that patients who see various health care providers in different locations have “integrated” care—in which their care process is thoughtfully planned and designed—is crucial for improving patient safety and the efficiency of the United States health care system, according to a new report from the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation. Order from Chaos: Accelerating Care Integration defines what care integration should look like in the 21st century health system, highlights barriers to better coordinated care, and outlines opportunities for improvement.

“One of the greatest challenges in the effort to provide higher quality, affordable health care is finding ways to integrate the wide array of services that patients with serious illnesses need,” said patient safety expert Lucian Leape, in an October 22, 2012 press release from the National Patient Safety Foundation. “For too long, patients have been left to their own devices to make sense out of advice and directions from multiple providers in multiple locations. It doesn’t work,” said Leape, chair of the Institute and adjunct professor of health policy at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Order from Chaos was produced by a Leape Institute Roundtable that brought together leading experts in patient safety and health system improvement. Sara Singer, HSPH assistant professor of health care management and policy, helped draft the report.