About care coordination
Care coordination is fundamental to improving the quality of care for individual clients and populations. The growing complexity of providing care, increasing numbers of clients with chronic disease, and exploding healthcare costs highlight the need for improved care integration through the efficient and effective use of resources without increasing expenditure. The benefits of care coordination extend not only to clients, but to all the components of a healthcare system and for a wide variety of settings and diverse client populations. The fragmentation of services for chronically ill clients has led to inadequate coordination of care across settings and providers. Gaps in communication across healthcare provider sites leads to fragmentation, poorer outcomes and lower satisfaction for both the client and the provider. When information flows efficiently, all aspects of care can improve significantly.
Care coordination involves deliberately organising client care activities and sharing information among the health service providers involved. This planned and managed approach ensures that the best health outcomes are achieved for clients and that health services are effectively and efficiently used.
The main goal of care coordination is to meet client needs and preferences by providing safe, appropriate and effective high-quality, high-value health care. Further goals are:
- to ensure clients have capacity to be in control of their health care
- to improve access to necessary services to help support improved health outcomes—particularly for people with chronic and/or complex conditions
- to reduce inappropriate and avoidable service use across the healthcare sector—particularly in relation to potentially avoidable hospitalisations, emergency department presentations, and emergency admissions involving people with complex chronic care needs
- to increase communication between healthcare providers.
What value will it bring to my clients?
We all know that effective management of chronic health conditions improves health outcomes, gives people a better quality of life and keeps people out of hospital.
Care coordination can play a big part in helping people manage their chronic health conditions. It can assist these people to access the services they need to manage their condition effectively. It connects people to community-based models of support and care rather than accessing services in an acute setting. Care coordination has been shown to be most successful when there is a close relationship between the client, their general practitioner and the care coordinator.
Investing in a robust and effective care coordination program will help:
- improve your client’s and their family’s wellbeing
- increase satisfaction, improve efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes for clients from primary health care, hospital, aged care and community sectors
- strengthen client and family health literacy
- strengthen service provider health literacy
- improve appropriate and timely access to primary healthcare services
- increase effective healthcare consumption—for example, increase the use of primary health care services and after hours services and decrease the use of acute sector-based emergency services.