Approaches to Evaluating Efficiency and Quality of Integrated Health Care: State of the Evidence
This paper investigates the outcomes of integrated health care model in terms of its economic efficiency and quality. The quality refers to subjective assessments of a patient, measured by a satisfaction indicator, as well as to the health benefits to a patient, measured by health status. A systematic literature review has been applied to study the results of care coordination. The author performed the ordered analysis of existing research evidence, based on peer-reviewed literature available on health science and business databases. The model of integrated health care delivery seemed to have positive effects on the quality of care. This encompasses mainly the quality of life, functional status, health outcomes, and process outcomes. The equal positive impact of integrated health programmes on economic efficiency has not been revealed. Only 15% of the effects reported in the reviews have been significant. The work contributes to the worldwide debate dedicated to the impact of integrated health care programmes. The gathered research evidence concerning positive influence on costs remains unclear. It might require further investigations. The work also revealed some significant gaps that are prevalent in the field of standardized instruments of measurement referring to integration outcomes, including quality and efficiency over time at levels of the system, programme, provider, and patient. (original abstract)
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