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Care Coordination: Q & A


If you don’t know what Care Coordination means, you’re not alone. These two words actually mean more than you might think.

Q: So what is Care Coordination anyway?

A: Care Coordination is when doctors, specialists, and other health services all work together by sharing information in a timely manner to achieve safe and effective patient care. The main goal of care coordination is that your needs and preferences are known and communicated to the right people at the right time. Make sure you report any changes in your health, your medicines, and any tests you’ve had to your primary doctor.

Q: What does Care Coordination look like?

A: Real coordination means that you, the patient, are “in the loop” of your own health care. When you request or receive care, full-circle communication happens. For example, if your doctor wants you to see a specialist, he or she will refer you and request the authorization. Another example is when your doctor checks your medicines for any side effects, or asks if you have ever had reactions to any medicines.

Q: How do I know if my doctors are working together?

A: Your primary doctor will have your medical records or care information from any specialists you see or from any hospital visits you have. Your primary doctor will also have all of your lab tests or any x-rays or imaging results to go over with you.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2016.