Integrative Care: A Paradigm Shift in Healthcare
Doctors have always known that patients’ illnesses aren’t purely physical. However, with the high demand for medical help, Private Care Physicians have very little time to ferret out and address the mental health, social, relational, and economic underlying conditions that contribute to patients’ deteriorating health conditions. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic increased patients’ requests for psychotropic medications and added to the heavy load doctors already carry. As a result, patients feel unheard and overlooked because their doctors seem to be only concerned with the physical illness and its progression.
A new day is coming for patients’ healthcare. Through integrative health services, patients will be heard, and more than their physical health will be healed. An integrative health approach is a paradigm shift for the healthcare industry. Integrated healthcare considers the whole person, not just the physical illness.
As a Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC), I am thrilled to participate in this paradigm shift. As a Behavioral Health professional on the team, I will have comprehensive insight into not only patients’ physical health concerns but also insight into the impact of patients' work environment, social support system, and mental health issues that affect their physical illness.
A therapeutic alliance will enable me to educate patients concerning psychotropic drugs, their effectiveness, the effects of long-term use, and whether there are any interactions with medications for illnesses. I can provide strategies that will enable patients to overcome behavioral, emotional, and relationship issues. Through the therapeutic alliance, I address medication compliance barriers and provide strategies to improve their overall lifestyle.
My therapeutic skills are invaluable to the treatment team. In quick meetings, I am available to share with doctors patients' ongoing progress toward reaching their treatment goals. Explain barriers that prevent patients’ compliance and how the barriers are being addressed. The treatment plans can be updated frequently and without needing long meetings because as a BHC I am in contact with patients between office visits. Most importantly, through the therapeutic work of the BHC, the team will have a clearer understanding of who patients are, share a vision of health through the care we provide, and everyone works towards shared health goals.
With integrative care, everyone wins. Patients feel heard. They understand more clearly the impact their lifestyle has on their health. Doctors are free to treat the illnesses, knowing that barriers to wellness are being addressed. Even the insurance industry benefits; when contributing underlying issues to illness are addressed, the need for medical care decreases significantly. To find out more about integrated healthcare go to https://integrationacademy.ahrq.gov/about/integrated-behavioral-health.
An exciting paradigm is coming to the healthcare industry ask your primary care physician about integrative healthcare.