Patient Care Coordinator (PCC)

Also known as: Care Coordinator

Last Updated: January 2, 2022

Written by the Open Caregiving Team. Editorial review by Joyce O. Murphy RN, MSN.

What is a patient care coordinator?

A Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) manages a person’s care from assessment of personal needs to education for caregivers, including family members. PCCs help to make the entire health system more effective for patients, their loved ones, and care providers.

What are the responsibilities of a patient care coordinator?

Care coordination is an effective way of making sure that a your loved one’s preferences are known and honored. The patient care coordinator role is quite varied in its responsibilities that include:

  • Managing and coordinating a patient’s care.
  • Assessing a person’s care needs and ability to fulfill them.
  • Meeting and talking with your loved one and family to choose the best living situation. This may be at home, an assisted living facility, or nursing home.
  • Collaborating with health professionals about your loved one’s care plan. This includes the primary care provider, therapists, pharmacists, and others who are on the person’s healthcare team.
  • Educating your loved one and family about their condition and the reasons for various types of care. These may include medications, therapies, and a special diet.
  • Assuring that care follows what is prescribed by doctors or others who authorize care.
  • Coordinating care with insurance providers.

What are the requirements to become a patient care coordinator?

PCCs have a background that includes:

  • A college education with either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. Some companies prefer a Bachelor’s degree or a candidate who is actively pursuing that degree.
  • A degree in social work, healthcare administration, or related field. A license may be required, based on the state where they work.
  • Experience in healthcare, including in clinical settings.
  • Computer proficiency with electronic medical records (EMR) and word processing software experience.

People who have the following skills and abilities are well suited to become a PCC:

  • Good verbal and written communication.
  • Attention to detail, such as scheduling appointments and assuring all parts of a plan are in place.
  • Able to resolve conflicts.
  • Can oversee and assure legal compliance.
  • Are compassionate and good listeners.
  • Are observant and able to notice a patient’s small changes, either as they improve or decline.
  • Can communicate with many people, including families and physicians.

How do I find a patient care coordinator?

PCCs often work in specific practices or settings, such as clinics, nursing facilities, and care centers. You can inquire at your local Area Agency on Aging (AAoA) to learn if there are any PCCs in your area available to address your loved one’s needs.

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