Introduction : A single entry point for the elderly is important for the integration of services and for standardizing needs assessment processes. The role of a single entry point role is to refer older persons to the appropriate social and/or health services. The purpose of this paper is to describe the relationships between institutional partners and their use of the single entry point in a gerontological network.
Methods : The gerontological network “Ancrage” is one of the first integrated care models with a single entry point to be implemented in France. The contact assessment tool known as CHIP (Community Hospital Intake Profile) is used to assess the needs of elderly people living at home and to make referrals. The data collected included all the requests made by partners at the single entry point over the course of one year (2008).
Results : A total of 303 requests were submitted to the single entry point by all partners (i.e. health and social professionals). These requests came from primary care professionals (68.3%), notably family physicians (29.3%). The needs of elderly people varied according to the type of requester. Most of those involved were directed toward the gerontological network (59.2%) and had more complex needs (no support from an informal caregiver and more difficulties in performing daily activities).
Conclusion : A single entry point is designed to involve all institutional partners and to meet the needs of the elderly. The level of involvement among physicians is high, and elderly people directed toward the gerontological network have the most complex clinical needs.
- single entry point
- standardized needs assessment
- service referrals
- older people