I – INTEGRAL PATIENT CARE
There are several primary features that are inherent to the day-to-day practice of integral patient care.
A multidisciplinary team willing to collaborate and cooperate:
A facility that allows for the comprehensive practice and collaboration of several different therapies.
Integrative patient care based upon many systems of medicine working in a complementary relationship with one another. In addition to multidisciplinary clinical practice, tools to support the processes of integration include shared medical records, patient care conferences and patient education. .
Home health care services for people who are too ill to come to the clinic.
Referral networks and relationships with qualified practitioners and other facilities near and far to meet individual health care needs.
II – RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
The integral model of medicine holds that health is a combination of mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. That being the case, for it to be practiced, the practitioners as well as the public need to be involved in an evolving process of education and research.
Research and education go hand in hand. Auroville is intended as a place of unending education; and the Auroville Institute of Integral Health shares a similar commitment towards learning. From an integral health perspective, research studies can be divided into various categories.
Comparison based studies: The effectiveness of integral patient care in comparison to the standard allopathic model. One such example could be treatment for chronic lower back pain using measurement parameters like overall pain levels; non-surgical vs. surgical intervention, and multi-modality approaches to pain management.
Modality specific studies: This is when research is done to determine the effectiveness of any specific health modality, such as the effectiveness in the prevention and management of Diabetes Mellitus II or heart disease using Ayurveda and other basic lifestyle changes.
Studies into the scientific method itself: This is an investigation into the question of how to conduct studies themselves. Is it possible to get an objective picture when using the current, reductionist scientific method to analyse a non-reductionist approach to health? How does one collate and compile treatment protocols from multiple therapies in a shared accessible database?
The Auroville Health Institute’s internal research: This is taking a look at how the Institute itself is functioning including gathering, reviewing and incorporating suggestions and feedback from the community as well as from Santé team members.
Auroville has a wide selection of talented health practitioners, many competent exercise instructors, classes on nutrition and wellbeing, spiritual and psychological counsellors and a wide range of health and wellbeing workshops to draw upon.
General health education addresses the triad of physical, psychological (emotional and mental), and spiritual wellbeing.
Integral health medicine workshops and trainings for health care providers within and outside Auroville to both, share knowledge and to develop the network of relationships and liaisons amongst health professionals.
Team member education allows therapists to continuously expand their knowledge about other disciplines, in addition to evolving in one’s chosen health modality. Continued education amongst members of an integral health care team helps to develop more holistic patient treatment plans.
III – PUBLIC HEALTH CARE
Public health care “promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play.”
Public health remains a primary pillar of the integral health model.
By encouraging healthy lifestyle recommendations and empowering individuals and communities with information, supervision of public hygiene and large scale disease prevention become the shared responsibility of both health professionals and the general population.
Effective systems need to be in place for the community to deal with the spread of infections and poisons through shared resources such as water, air, soil and food, and to manage health during natural disasters. Key factors to consider are:
Identification: Keeping up with and identifying risk factors, and creating standards and regulations to deal with their possible consequences.
Monitoring and control in case of outbreak or to limit spread of infection
Effective public notification systems and education: Up-to-date instructions, treatment and prevention advice and support to the general public