Case Management

CMW Tip of the Week: Know when to set up a care team meeting

Case Management Weekly, May 6, 2009

This week’s tip comes from Karen Zander, RN, MS, CMAC, FAAN.

Healthcare team meetings are a powerful intervention far too infrequently held. Clinicians will often reflect with wonder on how they were so surprised by a family’s change of mind, or why they didn’t realize sooner that a fellow clinician had an important piece of information that none of the rest knew. Documentation at its best is only part of the story. The real story is the up-to-the-minute information that is actually integrated at a team meeting. Case managers and social workers should know the indicators and take initiative to organize and conduct team meetings.

Indicators for team meetings without patient and family:

  • Referral from complex care rounds
  • Confusion about the diagnosis and the treatment plan
  • Preparation  for meeting with patient and/or family
  • Disagreement about appropriate level of care needed currently or in the future


Indicators for team meeting with the patient and family:

  • Initiation of special treatment protocols
  • Important decisions needed, such as surgery, end-of-life care
  • Setting limits with patients and/or families about behaviors (such as extreme arguing while visiting or bringing drugs to patients)
  • Planning with patients and families to learn difficult techniques such as PEG tube and trach care


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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