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Int J Integr Care. 2015 May 14;15:e022. eCollection 2015 Apr-Jun.

Does it matter who organises your health care?

Author information

1
Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Australian National University, Research School of Population Health, College of Medicine, Biology and the Environment, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
2
Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Australian National University, Research School of Population Health, College of Medicine, Biology and the Environment, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As the prevalence of long-term and multimorbid conditions is increasing, patients increasingly require consultations with multiple health care professionals and coordination of their care needs.

METHODS:

This study is based on a 2011 survey of older Australians which draws on sub-populations of people with diabetes aged 50 years or over, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and members of Nationals Seniors Australia. We develop a composite coordination measure and examine differences in the measure with different care coordination indicators using both descriptive and regression methods. Three categories of respondent-perceived care organisers are used: health care professionals; "no one"; and patients, their partner, relative or friend.

RESULTS:

Of the 2,540 survey respondents (an overall response rate of 24%), 1,865 provided information on who organised their health care, and composite coordination measures were calculated for 1,614. Multivariate analysis showed the composite score was highest where a health care professional coordinated care, followed by care organised by self or a carer, and then the group reporting no organiser.

CONCLUSION:

In moving towards care coordination there are opportunities to improve the care coordination process itself, and the key enablers to improving care coordination appear to be the availability and communication of clinical information and the role of the clinical team.

KEYWORDS:

chronic disease; coordination; long-term conditions

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