Good care coordination helps patients easily navigate the health care system.
Countries care about care coordination. A recent Commonwealth Fund international survey asked seniors how they felt about their transitions in care. United States, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada and a number of other countries funded and participated in the survey. All 11 countries found they have coordination problems associated with a lack of information and communication among providers.
Clinicians care about care coordination. Helping patients get the care they need as they transition settings is a vital role for many health professionals:
In the Commonwealth Fund Survey, 79 per cent of Canadians reported that follow-up care was arranged after their hospitalization. With thousands of discharges every day, that is a lot of clinicians caring, a lot, about care coordination!
A lot of patients care about care coordination, although they might not say this outright. Few patients say “I want care coordination”, just like few travellers express they want on-time connecting flights with “I want vacation coordination”. Care coordination is the kind of thing that, done well, can feel almost invisible to a patient. However, when we hear expressions like “I want to know what will be happening next”, or “I want my appointment in a timely manner”, we know patients want care coordination. Yet we also know that coordinating transitions to community health services is a challenge for patients.
There are many ways we can make care coordination better:
Focus on solving these three problems to build a care coordination approach that patients will appreciate.