Case Management

Sneak peek: Evidence-based practices can help improve, enhance case management skills

Case Management Weekly, October 10, 2012

A trend in recent years encourages clinicians to adopt evidence-based practices to improve clinical outcomes, reduce errors, and control costs.

Physicians and other healthcare professionals who use evidence-based practices rely on scientifically validated strategies backed by research when they make treatment decisions. Experts say that evidence-based medicine shouldn't be reserved for physicians.

"Case managers are charged with ensuring quality and also with making sure that patients are given cost-effective care," says John D. Banja, PhD, a professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta. They too should use evidence-based practices when recommending care plans and strive to ensure that they are both clinically and cost-effective, says Banja.

"We are increasingly encouraging all clinicians to use evidence-based practice, and case managers are no exception," says Jeff Frater, RN, BSN, CTT+, an account executive at Milliman, a Seattle consulting firm that produces evidence-based guidelines for healthcare organizations. A common fallacy is that using evidence-based practice means discarding any critical thinking or experiential knowledge, he says. That's not the case, he says. Case managers must still be critical thinkers when incorporating evidence in the decision-making process.

Using evidence-based practice means using checklists and reminders, and deploying interventions proven to be most effective for individual patients and their unique needs, says Frater.

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

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