- Improve the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
- Improve the health of populations; and
- Reduce the per capita cost of health care.
Throughout my research I found a wealth of information on care coordination, but it was evident what was missing – there is no one professional or discipline that is accountable for ensuring care coordination is being done in a consistent and regular manner. If we look at individual members of the care coordination team, each person has a role that meets their specific discipline. However, the case manager is the only professional who looks at the patient from a holistic viewpoint and has the expertise to address and connect the patient to the right resource to meet their individual needs. No other professional on the team has the broad view needed to coordinate with the patient, the family and all of the other stakeholders to address the individual needs of each patient who transitions through the diverse and complex healthcare system.
Case managers have the opportunity to step up and take the lead. I urge each of you reading this editorial to think about the work you do and the value that you bring to your organization and make sure that it is recognized. Make sure that you are part of the team that is discussing how your organization is going to restructure processes to meet the demands of the changing healthcare industry. These are important times and what we do today will set the path for the future. Case management must have a strong voice at the table and share the role we play, the expertise we bring and the power that we wield to unite the entire team for the common cause we are all working for.
When I look at the practice of case management, I see innovation, passion, expertise and commitment to the work that needs to be done. Unfortunately, there are places where case management is not valued and is instead viewed as a task. Many put the label of case management or care coordination on tasks they are doing because these words are popular in the industry, but they are not truly performing case management or care coordination. This mislabeling detracts from the important role case managers play in the process of care coordination.
Case management is a practice that employs care coordination as a process to ensure each patient receives the right care at the right time, in the least restrictive setting for the most cost-effective price throughout the care continuum. If you work in an organization where this is evident, talk to leadership so you can set your department on the right course. If you need help, reach out to leaders who have been successful and gain their insights. I would be glad to make connections to the leaders in the practice so please feel free to reach out.
This is our time to show administration, policy makers, other members of the healthcare team, and most importantly, the patient and their families what case managers do and the important role they play in their care coordination.
I am excited about the Care Coordination Achievement Program
as it sets up a learning platform for all involved to begin the discussions of who is accountable for care coordination, helps us move away from the practice silos which have plagued the healthcare industry for years and ultimately moves the members of the care coordination team into team-based practice where each professional works up to the top of their license for a common cause – THE PATIENT.
As I mentioned above, the Care Coordination Achievement Program
will be presented as a pre-conference on September 19, 2013 prior to the Measurement Conference
. Take time to review the agendas of both programs and consider attending. If you are not able to attend live, the Care Coordination Achievement will also be presented as an on-line program for those who have limited travel budgets and who want their teams to participate in this important learning program. The website is being developed, so stay tuned to Case In Point Weekly for more information.
Have a great week!