Linda Mann, a Sydney GP, proposes ways of potentially enhancing patient care and reducing hospital stays, without increasing overall healthcare costs. Her suggested solutions include making it simpler for all healthcare practitioners involved in caring for the same patient to share (rather than not share) all patient information by applying the information technology of today (rather than tomorrow). Also, pooling some funding from state and federal sources could allow for further “seamless care” at areas of reasonable overlap between the current “silos” of hospital-based and community-based care.
The type of scenario described in Box 1 is not uncommon. Contemporary healthcare cuts patient care into separate events by erecting barriers at the boundaries of what we have come to see as “hospital practice” and “general practice”. As a result, Mr A and his doctors face several barriers to optimal care:
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