Integrated primary care, introduced in several states of the nation over the last few years, is the new approach to diagnosing and treating mental health disorders that utilizes a coordinated approach involving primary health practitioners, psychologists and other health care specialists. It can also be called primary preventive care. The goal is to use primary care for illness prevention, which means that mental health disorders are identified before a serious illness develops.
Many health organizations including the American Psychological Association have supported the integration of psychological and medical services. They believe that when all these different specialists work together, patients experience improved quality of life and are less likely to return to their primary health clinic suffering from a mental disorder. The integrated Primary Care practice involves coordination of various specialties and uses experienced clinicians who are committed to their specialty along with psychologists and licensed mental health counselors, working in teams.
Mental health is a growing segment of the healthcare industry and it is expected to expand substantially in the next decade. An integrated primary care approach takes mental health care professionals off the same page and ensures that all the health professionals involved are on the same page and frequently communicate. When patients who visit different health providers have different perceptions of their condition and different treatment options, the outcomes are unpredictable. Forcing patients to choose between two equally good options will not improve their health or prevent the return to previous illness.
Doctors, nurses and psychiatrists should collaborate with a behavioral health services provider, if they see symptoms of a mental disorder in a family member. When patients visit more than one primary care provider and are not given a chance to compare care options, they are much more likely to return to their former health care provider for further treatment. However, when a patient is given choice between two health providers, they are much less likely to choose care by one practitioner and they are far more likely to choose the one that was recommended by their behavioral health provider. This form of integration has worked remarkably well in the healthcare industry and has been implemented by many physicians and hospitals. Learn more info about integrated primary care.
Many patients are hesitant to enter a mental health services facility because of the social stigma. Some people have been transferred from regular doctors offices to psychiatric units because of their appearance or background. Patients may be apprehensive about admitting to a facility where they will be observed by other individuals. For these patients, a primary care physician can provide education and information that will allow them to make informed decisions. Doctors who incorporate a behavioral health services provider into their practice have reported a dramatic reduction in the number of new patient visits, and they generally experience fewer out-patient misadventures as well.
More communities are embracing integrated primary care practices. Although the practice has worked successfully in the healthcare industry for decades, there is no reason it cannot work for the community as well. If you have a loved one who needs help with depression or any other type of mental health problems, consider a professional primary care physician who offers integrated community health centers. Check out this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_care for a more and better understanding of this topic.