Case Management

Tip: Create a guide to home healthcare referrals for off-hours

Case Management Weekly, December 22, 2010

The success of any emergency department (ED) case management program includes easy around-the-clock access to patient services when needed by clinicians. This applies to case management needs during off-shift hours. Ensure that clinicians can provide case management services during off-hours for off-shift nurses; establish a simple step-by-step approach to ordering home care:

  1. Determine whether the patient has medical insurance. If not, is the patient willing to self-pay?
  2. Ask the ED physician to order services or treatments and sign the order form.
  3. Unless the patient is known to a certain agency, leave a listing of home health services offered by surrounding towns, and ask the ED nurse the patient to select one.

Next, instruct the off-shift nurse to call the selected agency’s on-call nurse for next-day availability. The on-call nurse can help with simple insurance coverage questions, patient qualification questions, and appointment availability.

Don’t forget to follow up with the appropriate agency the next day to ensure that the patient receives the necessary services.

This week’s tip is adapted from Emergency Department Case Management Strategies for Creating and Sustaining a Successful Program published by HCPro, Inc. For more information on this newsletter or to order your copy, visit the HCMarketplace.

Do you have a question about a case management topic? Send it to Associate Editor Ben Amirault at An answer to your question might appear in a future issue of Case Management Weekly.

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