About this Research Topic
The integration of primary care and public health is an overarching goal that has been recommended for over a decade. The World Health Organization's framework on integrated, person-centered health services calls for a fundamental shift in the way health services are funded, managed and delivered - away from health systems designed around diseases and health institutions towards health systems designed for people. Integration interventions actively bridge public health and clinical practice to improve coordination of services for individuals and achieve efficient, effective health care and optimized population health. Integration may help avoid duplication of care, improve health behaviors and health outcomes, reduce hospital readmission, and control healthcare costs. This Research Topic seeks original research on integration efforts from health systems around the world and is especially interested in efforts that have targeted vulnerable population sub-groups (e.g., elderly; low-income; racial/ethnic minorities). Studies of barriers and facilitators to building and sustaining fully integrated health care are also of great interest.
There is a sparse literature on integration of primary care and public health. Health systems around the globe can benefit from understanding what approaches have or have not been successful in achieving service integration as well as factors impeding or promoting such integration. The goal of this Research Topic is to catalog and characterize approaches and strategies that have been developed and evaluated for impacts on integration efforts.
Themes of particular interest include:
• Strategies and practices to promote integration during training of health professionals;
• Health professional attitudes and beliefs about service integration;
• Structural factors (e.g., payment systems/mechanisms, cross-entity data sharing regulations) influencing integration of primary care and public health;
• Promising practices that facilitate integration in one country that may be relevant in others;
• Studies examining associations between integration and patient outcomes;
• Novel models of care designed to achieve service integration.
Studies focused on the above themes could aim to answer questions such as:
• Does exposure of health professions trainees to community resources and programs enhance their capacity to integrate services for their patients?
• What personal factors are associated with health professional attitudes toward service integration?
• What is the role of a shared medical record in achieving service integration?
Keywords: delivery of health care, integrated delivery of health care, community health services, cooperative behavior
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.