Case Management

CMW Tip of the Week: Data collection dos and don'ts

Case Management Weekly, December 17, 2008

This week’s tip, an “Ask the Expert,” comes from Karen Zander, RN, MS, CMAC, FAAN.

Q: The social workers and case managers are spending too much time collecting data, and they don’t care about the data I show them. What should I, the director, do?

A: Do an inventory using a chart of the data they are collecting every day, which category of personnel collects it, how the data gets processed into reports, and who wants the reports—which may be more than one person or group. Then determine how important it is and to whom, which may take some conversations. Be willing to drop some element of the data collection if 1) it is not interdependent on another piece of information (an interdependency might be avoidable days as a partial explanation of LOS) and if 2) the data has no bearing on current decisions by you or the executive team (such as productivity measures that do not help you get more needed FTEs). And a huge consideration is that every piece of data costs money to collect and process and display and review!

Have a tip or tool you’d like to share? Or maybe a question for our experts? E-mail it to editor Julie McGinley at jmcginley@hcpro.com.Your thoughts could be featured in the next issue of Case Management Weekly!

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