General Practice and Primary Care - Research Publications

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    Mind the Gap: Information Sharing Between Health, Mental Health and Social Care Services
    Kariotis, T ; Prictor, M ; Gray, K ; Chang, S ; Cummings, E ; Merolli, M ; Schaper, L (IOS Press, 2019)
    Information sharing is key to integrated, collaborative, and continuous care. People with a lived experience of mental illness may access several services across the health, mental health and social care sectors, which creates challenges for information sharing. The health informatics community has traditionally not prioritised social care informatics. However, with the growing role of social care in the lives of people with complex health conditions, now is the time when we must consider the articulation between health informatics and social care informatics in Australia. This paper reports the results of a qualitative study to understand the current context of information sharing between health, mental health and social care services. Interviews and focus groups with nine clinicians, caseworkers and support workers were undertaken. Thematic analysis supported the development of several themes. These include the growing role of social care services, the importance of trust and the challenge created by the complexity of conditions people can present with when accessing social care services. To ensure the growing range of social care services do not get left behind with the increasing digitisation of the Australian health system, the health informatics community should prioritise the inclusion of social care informatics in its scope of practice.