Dear All,

I would like to share with you this update about WHO on Integrated People Centered Health Service implementation support encompasses guidance, products and tools, including advocacy material, strategy papers, position papers, policy and practice briefs, capacity-building toolkits, knowledge management platforms and technical assistance to countries

Here the practice brief Continuity and coordination of care

Executive summary

This practice brief addresses the relatively ill-defined, under-researched concepts of continuity and care coordination, which are broad and interrelated.

  • Continuity of care: reflects the extent to which a series of discrete health care events is experienced by people as coherent and interconnected over time and consistent with their health needs and preferences.
  • Care coordination: a proactive approach to bringing together care professionals and providers to meet the needs of service users, to ensure that they receive integrated, person-focused care across various settings.

Without good continuity or coordination of care and support, many patients, carers and families experience fragmented, poorly integrated care from multiple providers, often with suboptimal outcomes and risk of harm due to failures of communication, inadequate sharing of clinical information, poor reconciliation of medicines, duplication of investigations and avoidable hospital admissions or readmissions (1). This is a particular problem for people with chronic or complex conditions that require care and support, many of whom have multiple conditions associated with a low income or complex circumstances, who are often underserved, in both high-income (2) and low- and middle-income (LMI) countries (3). Continuity and coordination of care are therefore global priorities for reorienting health services to the needs of people. They are important for all health care systems and economies, for care providers in a range of settings and at all life stages. The practice brief is based on the classification published in reviews of continuity (4) and coordination (1). Interpersonal continuity, sometimes referred to as “relational continuity”, results in trusting relationships, which are more likely to ensure empathic, collaborative consultations in which people understand their conditions and medicines. It thus enhances empowerment, enablement and adherence to treatment. Longitudinal management and informational continuity create the conditions for more informed interactions over time and seamless coordination of care and support. The classification helps to frame the various practice interventions that support continuity and care coordination. A targeted literature review identified practice intervention that increase continuity and care coordination and improve the experience of care for both patients and providers, improve the quality of care, enhance health outcomes or contribute to improved health system performance (Figure 1). Analysis of the evidence identified eight priorities for intervention and action. For each priority, we describe the approach and its impact on the experience or outcomes of care and provide examples from both high-income and LMI countries. When possible, the examples are linked to more comprehensive reviews or case studies. A detailed discussion of the management of change is outside the scope of this document. However, we highlight some practical actions for implementation of the eight priority practices.

All my best regards.

Isabelle Wachsmuth
Service Delivery and Safety Department
Health Systems and Innovation
World Health Organization
Geneva, Switzerland
Office: +41 (0)22 791 3175
Follow WHO on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram