Coordinating Care

What does it mean? 

Coordinating care successfully happens when health care providers and patients work closely together – talking about health problems, making thoughtful choices, and coming up with plans that patients can and will follow. Sharing information about all of your health care providers, staying informed about test results, and communicating clearly about your needs for help and information can help you manage your care, make fewer mistakes, and protect your health.

Coordinating care is a skill you can develop to get better quality care and create positive patient experiences. Effective care coordination helps create a partnership between you and your health care provider, so that you can decide together what care and treatment choices offer the highest value while respecting your needs. 

The best quality health care takes place when health providers work as partners with patients, family members, and caregivers. We can help you learn:

  • What questions to ask your health care provider, and when to ask them
  • How to compare the care you receive
  • How to use clinic, medical group and hospital ratings to find high quality care

Signs that your care is coordinated well

  • Your provider or someone from their office gives you your test results
  • Your provider’s office staff are as helpful as you think they should be
  • The office staff treat you with courtesy and respect

Your role in coordinating your health care

Taking an active role in coordinating care is just as important as understanding the care you receive. It is common to have many different health care providers, even for a single illness such as diabetes. The more health care needs you have, the more challenging coordinating care can become.

You can take an active role to share your treatment plan, medical history, and other needs with your providers. You can also ask for assistance with understanding test results, and planning next steps. This will help you receive care that is timely and safe. It may also help you save costs by avoiding unnecessary tests and appointments. By working with your provider, you can help make sure that you or your child receive the correct care, at the right time.

Links to resources about coordinating care

  • Want to learn more about how to take an active role with coordinating your care? Download the fact sheet "How Patients Can Better Coordinate Care."
  • Review our patient experience ratings to compare clinics. Our patient experience report includes ratings in four different categories and allows you to search by medical specialty.
  • Visit our resource sections for depression and diabetes/vascular care for specific tools and information to support collaborative care and effective communication for these conditions.