Case Management

Mentor moment: Engage patients, families in discharge planning

Case Management Weekly, September 12, 2012

Thirty years ago, a physician or other healthcare provider could create a discharge plan and the patient would follow it without question, because patients believed the healthcare provider knew best.

 This is no longer the case. Patients and families are becoming more aware of their healthcare benefits and the financial impact of those benefits. If case managers want to ensure that patients and families buy into and comply with discharge plans, case managers must involve patients in the decision-making process. From a healthcare prospective, we must understand that we can’t perform “textbook” discharge planning.
 
A patient who decides not to follow a discharge plan typically is not doing so out of defiance, but because the provider created a plan with which the patient or family is unable to comply. Case managers can address this problem by adopting strategies that involve patients and their families from the beginning.  
 
Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an article in the September Case Management Monthly published by HCPro, Inc.

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