Integrating Care for Older People: New Care for Old, a Systems Approach

By Christopher Foote; Christine Stanners | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Preventing Crises
Health Promotion, Chronic Disease Management,
and Risk Management

Every system is perfectly designed to produce the results it does. If you do not like the
results then you must change the system
.

Paul Batalden, Director of the Institute
for Leadership in Healthcare
,
Dartmouth, USA

In this chapter we consider the benefits to older people and to organizations of
preventing crises using a complex adaptive systems approach. Examples are given of
situations where failure to integrate has had a bad outcome for the client or patient,
and of other situations where there has been an attempt to bring a systemic response
with a better outcome for both the older person and the organization. Different
approaches to chronic disease management are discussed with examples from specific
programmes. The chapter focuses mainly on examples from healthcare, as this is
where studies have mostly been documented.

It is obvious that crises and emergencies should be avoided if at all possible. And yet most healthcare systems are focused on dealing with emergencies. Much of the healthcare resource is spent on them, and so is much of a healthcare professional’s training. There is also a general cultural expectation in the population at large that healthcare and emergencies are virtually synonymous, a perception reinforced by the flashing blue lights and sirens of ambulances speeding through the streets. Two of the

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