Where's the common ground? A survey of hospitals, community health centres and divisions of general practice in Australia
Betbeder-Matibet, L.; Fridgant, Y.; Harris, M.F.; O'Toole, B.I.; Comino, E.; Bolton, P.; Davies, G.P.
Australian Family Physician 29(4): 378-383
ISSN/ISBN: 0300-8495 PMID: 10800228 Accession: 047967746
Divisions of general practice are key structures for integration between general practice and other health services in Australia. To compare the views of divisions of general practice toward integration of care with those of hospitals and community health services. Representative national samples of public hospitals and community health centres (CHCs) and a census of divisions of general practice (DGP) were surveyed on their current collaborations and links as well as barriers to and factors that enhance integration between general practitioners and other health services. There is wide agreement on the need for greater integration. Personal links (via letter, phone and face to face) were thought to be useful. However, general practice liaison officers were seen as especially useful. All organizations rated different accountabilities and responsibilities as a highly significant barrier. Resources, structures for collaboration and high level organisational support were rated as being more useful in enabling greater integration. Formalizing collaboration will require changes to funding and accountability. However there is also a need for cultural change to support greater integration of patient care between general practice and both hospitals and community health services.