What is an Integrated Care Network

Defining Integrated Care Networks:

Integrated Care Networks (ICNs) are a central component of the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Care System plan. ICNs aim to enhance the coordination and delivery of healthcare by connecting healthcare professionals across the spectrum of patient care for information exchange and collaboration.

Integrated Care Teams leverage the proven benefits of team-based care to optimize patient outcomes. The goal of creating Integrated Care Netowors is to support patients and providers with the full range of specialized expertise available.

interconnected healthcare services for team-based care

Key Aspects of ICNs:

  1. Collaboration:
    • Facilitate better communication and collaboration among healthcare providers, ensuring comprehensive and continuous care for patients.
    • Support patient outcomes and reduce provider burnout with accelerated access to specialized expertise across a wide range of clinician types. 
  2. Efficiency:
    • Streamline processes and reduce redundancies, improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery.
    • Allow clinicians to focus on their specific expertise by referring to collaborators in care with appropriate specialization. 
  3. Patient-Centered Care:
    • Focus on providing holistic, patient-centered care by integrating various services and addressing all aspects of a patient’s health.
  4. Technology Integration:
    • Leverage advanced technologies, such as electronic health records (EHRs) and telehealth, to support seamless information exchange and care coordination.

The benefits of Integrated Care Networks:

  1. Improved Health Outcomes: Ensures patients receive timely, coordinated, and appropriate care.
  2. Enhanced Access to Services: Provides patients with easier access to a broad range of healthcare services.
  3. Improved Provider Experience: Create a more supportive work environment where providers have ready access to specialized expertise to address patient presentations outside their scope of practice.
  4. Cost-Effective Care: Reduces unnecessary tests and procedures by improving communication and coordination among providers for a collectively more robust set of expertise.

By establishing Integrated Care Networks, the MAPS plan aims to create a more integrated, efficient, and patient-focused healthcare system. Ultimately the plan targets improved overall quality of care for Albertans.

Watch this short example of how Brightsquid Secure-Mail supports remote team-based patient care in practice.