Case Management

Sneak peek: Team-based case management improves navigation

Case Management Weekly, July 21, 2010

At Cabell Huntington (WV) Hospital (CHH), case managers are more than just chart reviewers, they are part of the physician team—a shift in perspective that improved the facility’s LOS and, arguably, its patient care.

The team approach has suited the hospital well, but it wasn’t always the model of choice. 

“When we started case management, I was in charge of utilization review [UR] and discharge planning,” says Gina Jeffers, RN-BSN, nurse navigator for the hospitalist group.

CHH eventually scrapped that model and created the role of nurse navigator. Nurse navigators follow patients through their entire inpatient stay to ensure that:

  • Resources are used appropriately
  • Standards of care are followed
  • Clinical documentation is appropriate 
  • Discharge planning orders are followed

CHH assigned the first nurse navigator, Jeffers, to the hospitalist group, which consists of seven hospitalists, two physician assistants, and one nurse navigator. 

The team approach allows nurse navigators to focus on patient navigation and lets the hospital’s dedicated UR specialist conduct chart reviews. This approach also has allowed nurse navigators to focus more on setting the discharge plan and less on making discharge arrangements, says Jeffers. 

Check out the August 2010 issue of Case Management Monthly to learn more. You also can discover the benefits of becoming a Case Management Monthly subscriber.

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