The growing demand for cancer care, increasing complexity of cancer and its treatments, a shrinking workforce, and rising costs, present major challenges to the delivery of cancer care.1 In this context, effective coordination of care across different clinicians, teams and health services is essential to high-quality cancer care.2 Consumers consistently identify coordination of care to be a priority issue and an important influence on their cancer experience.3 Coordination of care has also been identified as a critical element of person-centred care and is an important element of national safety and quality standards for health care services.1,4
Coordination of care is a complex task that requires action at a number of levels and engagement of a wide range of health professionals. The purpose of the Cancer Care Coordinator Position Statement is to outline the position of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) regarding the role of dedicated care coordinator positions, one key strategy that has been implemented in many health services to achieve improved care coordination. Specifically, this paper seeks to provide an overview of the role of cancer care coordinators and to provide guidance for consumers, health professionals, health service managers and funders on the effective integration of these roles into cancer care delivery. For the purposes of this document, we focus on the role of professional care coordinators who perform clinical or health service functions associated with coordination of a person’s care. Issues associated with implementation of coordinator roles that involve primarily an administrative function are not addressed in this paper.
It is COSA’s position that:
COSA calls for: