Conditions are often treated in isolation. Individuals and families with complex needs are seen by multiple agencies and caseworkers, which is confusing and time consuming for clients and results in duplicated processes.
A lack of coordination and information sharing means interventions are not always sequenced to optimize results while early warning signs are missed...
Integration, for instance, can remove perverse incentives that cause providers to work in isolation rather than share resources and collaborate to achieve more effective interventions.
Nor cost-effective. Duplication, gaps and overlaps are easy to miss when you don't have a service map - but we tend not to think in maps. We demand simple, straight-forward bullets and picture-perfect clarity of message.
There's a lot of amazing work being done by governments around the world on social/human service integration. but the information I've seen to date is still being presented in old-school formats; boxy flow charts or spectrums.
Thinking about this led me to recall a couple of infographics I did a couple of years ago, first on a scrap of paper while sitting in a food court, then later on a computer with my amateur skills - the system today (silos) and the system tomorrow (an actual system).
My entry-point into this world of service design was mental health, particularly socio-cultural impacts on individual states of mental fitness and the actual process that lead us to make (or not make) the choices we do. Both trains have since come to the station; now everyone is getting on board.
Through a better understanding of how people think - from biases to defaults - governments are redesigning services in ways that encourage citizens to choose healthier, safer lives.
That was two years ago. We've all come a long way since then, and the journey's just beginning.