Case Management

Sneak peek: Team approach benefits Maine healthcare organization

Case Management Weekly, May 30, 2012

Case managers at Martin's Point Health Care in Portland, Maine, worked independently in the past. Today they work on three teams, a change that has helped reduce readmissions and improve patient satisfaction.

It began in 2011 as a pilot program consisting of just one team. The program is now permanent.
 Improving the hospital experience for patients, improving the quality of care, and reducing costs were the goals, says Sonia Tyler, RN, CCM, PAHM, CPUR, a case manager responsible for utilization management of acute inpatient and outpatient services at Martin's Point.

 Previously, case managers had specific, well-defined roles (e.g., benefit or utilization review). Everyone had a specific job and case managers didn’t communicate much, says Erin Corbin, RN, BSN, CCM, a nurse case manager at Martin's Point.

 Overall, the team model provides a clearer vision of the big picture. "It allows us to get to know other job functions. We always had seen bits and pieces of what others do, but this allowed us greater respect for what our colleagues do," says Corbin. "It's definitely made our communication pathways more open."

 The team model has provided an added benefit. Working together toward a common goal has put a new emphasis on keeping patients well, says Tyler.

The teamwork initiative changed the system drastically. Staff members now work in teams instead of alone. Team members include case managers, concurrent review nurses, and health coaches who work ­together on patient cases, says Corbin. Cross-training helps them understand the roles of other team members.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an article in the June Case Management Monthly published by HCPro, Inc.


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