“Whole person” means most of your health needs could be met at one location, during one appointment. Scheduling an appointment can be stressful. Often we are forced to take the only available opening, usually weeks down the road. This means we have to make our typical schedule fit around this appointment. We need to make sure we can get the time off of work. We have to financially plan to miss work if we don’t have vacation or sick pay benefits. We need to arrange transportation to and from the appointment. And we need to make sure the kids are watched after they get off the bus. What makes things worse, we go through this for each of the professionals we see. I need an appointment for a therapist, and one for my general doctor, and one for the psychiatrist, and then one for my chronic physical health issues.
Now imagine all of the health care professionals in your life share notes and plan your care together. Even better, imagine seeing most or all of them in one place at the same appointment. That’s the type of whole person care we envision.
WHOLE PERSON + INTEGRATE CARE + PUBLIC HEALTH = Whole Person Integrated Care
“Integrated care” means your health care and wellness do not stop at treating your mental and physical health symptoms. Integrated means all the players in the community who can help you navigate your life and health care have partnered to make sure you can get the help you need. Imagine talking to your doctor about your high blood pressure, talking to your therapist about your financial stress and anxiety making your blood pressure worse, and then talking to a community navigator who can put you in touch with an agency that can help you pay your utility bills and child care. This is the integration of services making the whole you well, from treating you to helping you reduce the things causing you to need treatment.
Now imagine everyone in the community can go to a doctor’s office offering integrated care. Everybody in the community is receiving help for their health problems and wellness issues. Everyone is getting preventative care, or due to shared notes and collaborative treatments, are finding behavioral and physical health issues much earlier. When you have an entire community working towards a better system of health care; sharing resources to minimize stresses caused by finances, lack of health care, or transportation need; and receiving quick and appropriate health care; you truly have what others call “public health.”
Partners has begun implementing the Whole Person Integrated Care Model at its Integrated Care Centers, beginning with Burke Integrated Health. As the model is developed, we will provide more information on this web page.
For health care providers looking for more information about the Whole Person Integrated Care Model, please visit this page on our Provider Knowledge Base website.