Home Health & Hospice

Tips for Case Conferences

Homecare Insider, April 11, 2011

The Conditions of Participation require that all homecare personnel furnishing services maintain liaison to assure that their efforts are effectively coordinated and that those efforts support the plan of care objectives. The most important component of care coordination is communication that is timely and effective. Care coordination can include meetings, telephone calls, referrals, assignment revisions, education, and case conferences. Although not mandated by regulation, case conferences can be a very important venue for communication. There are time points and scenarios when case conferences are especially beneficial to the caregiving team and include:

  • Within a few days of admission
  • When the plan of care involves many services (e.g. nursing, therapy, and home health aide)
  • For those patients whose conditions change frequently
  • For cases that involve complex care and/or supplies (e.g. complicated wounds)
  • For patients who have expressed dissatisfaction or complained about the care received
  • Whenever a staff member feels that such a conference can improve coordination and outcomes
  • On a regular basis to enhance the episode management process

Most often, case conferences are conducted in person with all team members present. However, they certainly don’t have to be. Other ways to conduct case conferences include via conference call, individual meetings with those involved in providing care, voicemail communication, and e-mail communication. It’s important to remember, though, that communication is a two-way street, so utilizing voicemail or e-mail communication should include that two-way communication. Agencies should have established parameters and procedures for conducting case conferences. They are an excellent way to demonstrate the required coordination of services.

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