The Elephant in the Room – Continuum of Care

Written by Nicole Scheidl

November 15, 2012

I’ve just been engaging in a really interesting discussion on LinkedIn about continuum of care. Some of the continuum elephants that have been identified by the group are:

• Fragmented “silo communication” on internal/external basis
• High hospital re-admissions
• Inconsistent transitional care
• Lack of care recipient educational outreach programs
• PCPs {primary care physicians} have different managerial styles, so continuum members become confused with care accountability

The big consensus in the group is the need for an integrated health team where all your needs can be met in a seamless way. My biggest personal beef – at this moment – is having to go all over the place to get blood work, x-rays, consult a physician, etc. Why don’t physicians offices include all the ancillary services that would reduce inefficiencies…particularly the inordinate amount of time wasted waiting? Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk into one office and be processed through so that when you came out the other end you had all your answers and a treatment plan that you could put into practice immediately.

Certainly the LIHN’s in Ontario are a step in the right direction and I’m really excited to see how the new healthcare hub in Orleans will actually work. It would be a great victory to wrestle the continuum elephant to the ground.

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