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4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/11/2013   
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COORDINATION OF HEALTH CARE


The coordination of a person's health care is an important factor in ensuring the best possible health outcomes. This is particularly true for those people who have seen several health professionals for the same health condition. Ensuring the correct information is passed between health professionals will serve to minimise errors and limit the possibility for symptoms to be overlooked. The coordination of health care enables a person to access the full range of services they need to treat their health condition.

In 2012-13, around one in six people aged 15 years and over (16.3% or 3 million people) 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 (18.6% compared with 14.0%). (Tables 19.1 and 19.2)

The proportion of people who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition generally increased with age. Almost one in four people (23.6%) aged 75-84 years had seen three or more health professionals for the same condition, compared with almost one in ten (9.3%) people aged 15-24 years. Those who had a long term health condition were more likely to have seen three or more health professionals than those without a long term health condition (27.6% compared with 7.2%). (Tables 19.2 and 20.2)

Of those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, 68.8% reported that a health professional helped coordinate their care. Of this group, the health professional most likely to coordinate the care was a GP (53.7%), followed by a medical specialist (29.6%) and then a nurse (6.4%). The coordination of care helped to a large extent for 69.0% of people, while 27.4% reported that it helped to some extent. (Table 19.2)

Those living in areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more likely to report that a health professional helped coordinate their care compared with those living in areas of least socio-economic disadvantage (73.3% compared with 64.3%). Among those whose care was coordinated, those living in areas of most disadvantage were then less likely to report that the coordination of care helped to a large extent compared with those living in areas of least disadvantage (66.5% compared with 73.9%). Major cities were similar to other remoteness areas of Australia. (Table 20.2)

Among those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, 12.8% reported that there were issues caused by a lack of communication between the health professionals. Those living in areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more likely to report that there were issues caused by a lack of communication between health professionals compared with those living in areas of least socio-economic disadvantage (13.8% compared with 10.3%). Those living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of Australia were more likely to report that there were issues caused by a lack of communication between health professionals compared with those living in major cities of Australia (16.5% compared with 11.7%). (Table 20.2)

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, Issues caused by a lack of communication between health professionals(a)

Footnote(s): (a) 2011 Remoteness Area Geography

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





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