4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/2018   
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COORDINATION OF HEALTH CARE

Coordination of care has been defined as ‘the deliberate organisation of patient care activities between two or more participants involved in a patient’s care to facilitate the appropriate delivery of health care services’.[1] The coordination of a person's health care is an important factor in ensuring the best possible health outcomes.

In 2017-18, one in six people (17%) aged 15 years and over saw three or more health professionals for the same condition. Females were more likely than males to have seen three or more health professionals for the same condition (20% compared with 14%). These rates were similar in 2016-17. See Tables 1, 2.3, 22 and 23.2 in Downloads.

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, saw three or more health professionals for the same condition

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Findings


The proportion of people who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition generally increased with age. Nearly one quarter of people (23%) aged 65 years and over saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, compared with one in seven people (16%) aged 15 to 64 years. See Tables 2.3 and 23.2.

People who rated their health as fair or poor were more likely to have seen three or more health professionals for the same condition than those who rated their health as excellent, very good or good (39% compared with 14%). Likewise people with a long term health condition were more likely to have seen three or more health professionals for the same condition than those without (27% compared with 7%). See Tables 3.2 and 24.2 in Downloads.

Of those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, seven in ten people (70%) reported that at least one health professional helped coordinate their care. For these people, a GP was most likely to coordinate care (59%), followed by a medical specialist (26%). Of those who received coordination of care, 96% reported that it was helpful, either to a large extent (67%) or to some extent (29%). See Table 22 in Downloads.

Among those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, 13% reported that there were issues caused by a lack of communication between the health professionals. Those with a long term health condition were more likely than those without to report issues caused by a lack of communication between health professionals (14% compared with 10%). These patterns were similar in 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. See Tables 22 and 24.2 in Downloads.

1 Victorian Department of Health and Human Services 2018. Care coordination. Melbourne: Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/hospitals-and-health-services/patient-care/rehabilitation-complex-care/health-independence-program/care-coordination, last accessed 06/11/2018.