People with chronic complex conditions continue to experience increasing health system fragmentation and poor coordination. To reverse these trends, one solution has been an investment in effective models of care coordination that use a care coordinator workforce. Care coordinators are not a homogenous workforce - but an applied professional role, providing direct and indirect care, and is often undertaken by nurses, allied health professionals, social workers or general practitioners. In Australia, there is no training curriculum nor courses, nor nationally recognised professional quality standards for the care coordinator workforce. With the growing complexity and fragmentation of the health care system, health system literacy - shared understanding of the roles and contributions of the different workforce professions, organisations and systems, among patients and indeed the health workforce is required. Efforts to improve health system literacy among the health workforce are increasing at a policy, practice and research level. However, insufficient evidence exists about what are the health system literacy needs of care coordinators, and what is required for them to be most effective. Key areas to build a health system literate care coordination workforce are presented. Care coordination is more than an optional extra, but one of the only ways we are going to be able to provide equitable health services for people with chronic complex conditions. People with low health literacy require more support with the coordination of their care, therefore we need to build a high performing care coordinator workforce that upholds professional quality standards, and is health literacy responsive.
- health literacy
- health systems