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Rural Health Information Hub

Care Coordinator Model Implementation Considerations

Care coordinators are clinical and non-clinical staff that work alongside healthcare professionals. It is important for care coordinators to receive training that is specific to the care coordination program being implemented.

It is also important for healthcare professionals who work with care coordinators to receive training. These trainings can increase their familiarity of the care coordination program, the role of the care coordinator, and acceptance of care coordinators by the medical team.

Care Coordinator Training Topics

Care coordinators are often trained on the job. Continued training and educational opportunities also help to support care coordination staff and to expand and refine their skill sets. Training topics for care coordinators may include:

  • Collaborating with community organizations and partners
  • Patient navigation
  • Health literacy
  • Communication and motivational interviewing
  • Community resources and referrals
  • Language and cultural competence
  • Health education and chronic disease management
  • HIPAA and confidentiality of patient information
  • Data systems, evaluation forms, and methods for documentation
  • Use of social media, if applicable to the program
  • Home visiting and safety

Training on Resource Finding

One of the care coordinator's roles may be to connect patients and families to resources. To do so, it is important for care coordinators to have knowledge of available community resources. Training to familiarize care coordinators with the resources available in the community may include dedicated time for “resource finding” in the community, in which the care coordinators spend time identifying resources. Programs or community organizations may maintain the resources in a central resource directory.

Safety Training

Safety training provides care coordinators with the knowledge necessary to safely and effectively complete their jobs. Safety training is important for care coordinators conducting home visits to protect them from potentially unsafe environments. For example, care coordinators may be required to travel in pairs when conducting home visits in frontier, high-risk, or high-crime areas. Safety trainings for rural care coordination programs may utilize police officers, rather than clinicians or administrators, to convey information to home visiting staff.

Training Curricula

Care coordination programs may develop new trainings or tailor existing training materials. Examples of rural care coordination trainings include:

  • Tiered trainings: One rural care coordination program in rural New Mexico developed a three-level care coordination training program for CHWs. Level 1 focuses on core functions, core competencies, the care coordination process, documentation, billing, and quality assurance. Level 2 is a specialty training program about health education, transitions of care, transition services, and care for special populations. Level 3 is an advanced training that focuses on chronic disease, motivational interviewing, and crisis planning.
  • The Community Capacitation Center in Multnomah County, Oregon: A capacitation center that works with communities to build capacity around pressing issues. Capacitation centers can be important partners in developing and holding trainings.
  • CHW Trainings: See Training Materials in the Community Health Workers Toolkit.

Resources to Learn More

Care Coordinator Privacy and Confidentiality Documents
A confidentiality agreement form that can be used by the care coordinator.
Organization(s): Bi-State Primary Care Association
Date: 8/2012

This website provides information on the certifying bodies recognized by the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) for certification requirements.
Organization(s): Aging Life Care Association

A Patient Navigation Manual for Latino Audiences: The Redes En Acción Experience
This manual outlines the steps and provides the tools to help incorporate patient navigation for Hispanic/Latino populations at an organization.
Organization(s): Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio