Care coordination

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Key Points

  • People with comorbid mental health and AOD use disorders often present to treatment with various issues that need to be addressed during the course of treatment (e.g., physical health, housing, employment, education and training, legal issues, and family situations).
  • Evidence has linked coordinated care with improved treatment outcomes. Specifically, the coordination of health responses into a cohesive approach has been found to prolong client retention, increase treatment satisfaction, improve quality of life, and increase the use of community-based services.
  • Although coordinated care may be facilitated by a coordinator or case manager, they are not expected to provide all of  the necessary services themselves, but rather refer to, and manage the engagement of, appropriate services.
  • The principles of coordinated care can be adopted into referrals and discharge practices, with an emphasis placed on the importance of communication, consultation, and interagency support.
  • AOD services and AOD workers should develop links with a range of local services and engage them in clients’ treatment where appropriate.
  • Discharge planning in close consultation with the client is integral to the treatment process.