About care coordinators in general practice
Care coordinators may be the first point of contact for some patients. They are primarily responsible for arranging and supervising interdisciplinary and individual patient care. They work across a number of fields, and in some cases may focus on a specific group of patients, such as a particular age group, or those with particular health problems.
Within primary care, the role will often be based across multiple practices within a Primary Care Network. An integral part of the multi-disciplinary team, a care coordinator will work closely with the patient to initially assess their needs, in order to develop and deliver personalised and often complex care plans. As well as connecting the patient with the right people within the practice, they may also help with bringing together different specialists and community service providers to ensure the care delivered is appropriate and effective.
What can care coordinators help with?
A care coordinator is a trained health professional that helps to manage a patient’s care, for example, the elderly or disabled. They monitor and coordinate patients’ treatment plans, educate them about their condition, connect them with healthcare providers, and evaluate their progress. Some of the work care coordinators might do includes:
- consulting with patients and family members to discuss health problems
- educating patients about their condition, medication, and give them specific instructions
- developing a care plan to address a patient’s personal healthcare needs
- consulting and collaborating with other health care providers and specialists to set up patient appointments and treatment plans
- checking in with the patient regularly to evaluate and document their progress
- evaluating interventions and care plans with the care team, including identifying areas where further care may be required
- supporting patients on an ongoing basis to manage their own needs where possible
- promoting and encouraging patient awareness, skills and confidence to help them maintain and make decisions about their own health and wellbeing
- supporting patients with personal health budgets