The literature demonstrates that patients are less likely to access prescribed health and medical services when this involves them going through multiple steps. Therefore, having co-located services, and streamlined referral processes not only makes life easier for health and medical consumers, but should improve community health outcomes. GP Superclinics and other models of integrated primary health care services are designed to meet this demand by providing a ‘one stop shop’ of health and medical services for consumers.
This case study of the Lismore General Practitioners Superclinic (LGPSC) is exploring how primary health care services are integrated at the patient, service and system level by looking at patient referral networks and referral pathways (service-level integrations and how the Superclinic is integrated with the wider regional community (systems-level integration), to assess how far these networks spread and their density with regard to populations with particular demographic characteristics.
Based on the findings, from both qualitative (thematic analysis of the narratives) and network analysis, an integration ‘model’ will be developed. This research should produce two significant outcomes: firstly, an understanding of the nature and extent of LGPSC integration, together with some tools to assist change, as appropriate. Secondly, it will provide an understanding of the general nature of integration from the three-tiered perspective (patient, service and system), with special insights for working with demographic subgroups within the wider community. This will culminate in a practice guide that can be used by other primary health care services to enhance their integration.