What do you think?
- How might care coordination be improved within your doctor’s clinic?
- What does good coordination of care look like to you?
Understanding “how often my care was coordinated”
In surveys conducted between October 2018 and March 2020, the HQCA asked patients who recently visited their doctor
- In the last 12 months, how often did your healthcare team seem to effectively coordinate your care?
Patients could choose “always / most of the time / some of the time / a little of the time / none of the time”.
Patient experience is likely better if patients feel the communication and information between providers is organized and seamless. Coordination of care is important for all patients, but especially patients with multiple chronic conditions who are visiting different specialists and accessing community organizations for their health needs. Effective care coordination also enables providers to deliver better care and feel they are supported by a larger team collectively caring for the patient.
Considerations when viewing the results
As primary care providers work to develop a better understanding of how they could improve this rating, other questions can be asked, such as:
- Do patients have to repeat their medical history when visiting different providers or is information about their medical history and health being communicated as they transition between providers?
- Are patients kept in the loop about information shared among healthcare providers involved in their care? What processes and systems do doctors and other healthcare providers have in place to stay connected with each other so they can provide the best possible care to their patients?
- When a referral is made, how does the family doctor’s office learn and close the loop about the referral to ensure the referral was completed?
- Are patients asked about what other providers they are seeing (including relevant visits to specialists and alternative healthcare service providers)? Are patients invited to share information about visits to other providers?
- How is information about the patient conveyed and coordinated during a transition in care such as an emergency department visit, a hospital admission, a transfer to a nursing home, etc.? An important part of care coordination is follow-up with a family doctor after discharge. To learn more, view the percentage of patients who are seen by a family doctor within 7 or 30 days of discharge from a hospital stay.
For information about the HQCA’s patient experience surveys offered to individual clinics in Alberta, please visit the HQCA website.
The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. The information in this chart can be used as input to think and have conversations about primary healthcare in Alberta using the lens of the dimensions of quality shown on the right:
Dimensions of Quality