Understanding how health care organizations can achieve care coordination internally is essential because it is difficult to achieve, but essential for high-quality and efficient health care delivery. This article offers an answer by providing a synthesis of knowledge about coordination from organization theory, where coordination is a central research topic. The article focuses on intra-organizational coordination, which is challenging especially across boundaries such as departments or professions. It provides an overview of the classic coordination mechanisms, e.g., standardization of work processes, but also of recent insights that have identified the conditions that are required to achieve coordination, and how these conditions can be provided by formal mechanisms, such as standardization, but also informally by drawing on features of the emerging situation. Such research highlights the contribution of, e.g., routines like those guided by care pathways or of artifacts like displays. The coordination insights are also discussed as regards inter-organizational care coordination.
- Care coordination
- intra-organizational coordination
- organization theory