Service Coordination is a term we use to describe inter- or intra-organizational efforts to support individuals across a range of services. We use this term to describe services that are not fully integrated (e.g. using shared terminology, uniform processes, and shared funding streams), but where some form of “joined up” thinking and planning has lead to increased interaction across organizational contexts. The term collaboration describes any collective endeavor to reach a common goal; coordination however, requires processes, communication pathways and procedures for aligning work processes across organizational sites.
As a first step towards service coordination, stakeholders should identify existing services as well as service gaps. Once key service delivery organizations have been identified, an agreed-upon inter-organizational referral procedure is another important early step towards coordination. Long-term, ongoing opportunities for communication, collaboration and joint-planning as well as co-located services (i.e. housing a compliment of services within a single location) contribute to service or systems coordination.