Service delivery and safety

What are integrated people-centred health services?

Integrated people-centred health services means putting people and communities, not diseases, at the centre of health systems, and empowering people to take charge of their own health rather than being passive recipients of services. Evidence shows that health systems oriented around the needs of people and communities are more effective, cost less, improve health literacy and patient engagement, and are better prepared to respond to health crises.

People-centred health services is an approach to care that consciously adopts the perspectives of individuals, families and communities, and sees them as participants as well as beneficiaries of trusted health systems that respond to their needs and preferences in humane and holistic ways. People-centred care requires that people have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care. It is organized around the health needs and expectations of people rather than diseases.

Integrated health services is health services that are managed and delivered in a way that ensures people receive a continuum of health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, disease management, rehabilitation and palliative care services, at the different levels and sites of care within the health system, and according to their needs, throughout their whole life.

Integrated people-centred health services is an important new way to empower patients, fight health system fragmentation and foster greater coordination and collaboration with organizations and providers across care settings, to deliver health services that are aligned with the needs of people.