www.relayhealth.ca/RelayHealth is a new service from McKesson that is now available in Canada.  The service has two main goals: to improve the coordination of care across all care providers and to empower patients to manage their own care.  Today, patients see more care providers than ever before, making information sharing a real challenge. RelayHealth organizes and streamlines patient information and transforms health care into a more collaborative and integrated system.  We believe that accessible, current information is the first step in effective health care.

Healthcare Quarterly, in association with Longwoods™ Publishing, brings you this microsite to highlight important topics facing healthcare leaders today. Periodically, this site will feature new content from Healthcare Quarterly, Longwoods.com, and other editor-selected information sources. All content on this page is presented free of charge by RelayHealth and McKesson Canada.



All Together Now: A Conceptual Exploration of Integrated Care

Dennis Kodner
Integrated care is a key strategy in reforming health systems around the world. Despite its importance, the concept's polymorphous nature and lack of specificity and clarity significantly hamper systematic understanding, successful application and meaningful evaluation. This article explores the many definitions, concepts, logics and methods found in health system and service integration. In addition to framing this evolving, albeit imprecise field, the article summarizes the main elements or building blocks of integrated care and suggests a way to address its various complexities and unknowns in a real-world sense.

Towards a Canadian Model of Integrated Healthcare

Peggy Leatt, George H. Pink and Michael Guerriere
Canada does not have integrated healthcare. Canada has a series of disconnected parts, a hodge-podge patchwork, healthcare industry comprising hospitals, doctors' offices, group practices, community agencies, private sector organizations, public health departments and so on. Each Canadian province is experimenting with different types of organizational structures and processes with the intent of improving the coordination of services, facilitating better collaboration among providers and providing better healthcare to the population. However, regional health authorities and their variants in Canada do not possess most of the basic characteristics of integrated healthcare such as physician integration and a rostered population (Hospital Management Research Unit 1996,1997). In contrast, most developed countries are currently emphasizing integration of the components of healthcare as a solution to many of the problems that plague national health systems (Raffel 1997; Saltman and Figueras 1998). This paper uses evidence from the international experience to recommend strategies for achieving integrated healthcare in Canada. In the first section integrated healthcare is defined. Next, some of the reasons why countries are moving towards integrated healthcare are presented. Canadian progress to date towards an integrated system is then outlined. In the last sections of the paper, lessons learned from the international experience are summarized and used as a basis for proposing several strategies of moving towards a distinctive Canadian model.

Public Health in Canada: A Difficult History

David L. Mowat and David Butler-Jones
Although the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003 was the event that focused attention on Canada's capacity in public health, there have been, and will be, many other public health challenges, not just in the form of outbreaks but of a diverse set of threats to health, both infectious and non-infectious. Like many other countries, Canada must face the challenge of building and sustaining the capacity to respond to this broad range of challenges. Recently, there has been an emphasis on strengthening the public health infrastructure, including inter-jurisdictional agreements, research, knowledge translation, information systems and the workforce.

The Expanded Chronic Care Model: An Integration of Concepts and Strategies from Population Health Promotion and the Chronic Care Model

Victoria J. Barr, Sylvia Robinson, Brenda Marin-Link, Lisa Underhill, Anita Dotts, Darlene Ravensdale and Sandy Salivaras
Given the increasing incidence of chronic diseases across the world, the search for more effective strategies to prevent and manage them is essential. The use of the Chronic Care Model (CCM) has assisted healthcare teams to demonstrate effective, relevant solutions to this growing challenge. However, the current CCM is geared to clinically oriented systems, and is difficult to use for prevention and health promotion practitioners. To better integrate aspects of prevention and health promotion into the CCM, an enhanced version called the Expanded Chronic Care Model is introduced. This new model includes elements of the population health promotion field so that broadly based prevention efforts, recognition of the social determinants of health, and enhanced community participation can also be part of the work of health system teams as they work with chronic disease issues.


White Papers and Case Studies

Jersey Health Connect: A Collaborative Framework of Community Stakeholders

As the number of HIEs grows nationwide, economic stimulus opportunities will drive cooperation between providers.

Scottsdale Healthcare: ED Notification Provides Instant, Consistent Messaging

When a patient visits a hospital’s Emergency Department for treatment, the primary care provider can sometimes feel as if he’s at the end of the line in a variation of the Telephone Game.

RelayHealth Overview - Solutions to Coordinate Care and Empower Patients

Pressure to reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of care requires that patient care be delivered across multiple providers and settings.