Case Management

Helping case managers boost their knowledge

Case Management Insider, June 2, 2015

Case managers today have to know a lot. They not only need the skill to work with patients effectively, but they also have to be up on the latest rules and regulations related to everything from billing to readmissions.
At Providence Regional Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, hired a full-time case management educator, Angela Stewart, RN, BSN, to help ensure that case managers have the information they need.
Case Management Monthly (CMM), Case Management Insider’s print case management newsletter, caught up with Stewart to discuss her role with Providence Regional Hospital and the ways in which she contributes to the organization.
The following is taken from a Q&A session with Stewart:
Q: What does the case management educator position entail?
A: Currently, I develop and implement the on-boarding process for new case management and social work employees, excluding support staff. This includes discharge planning, utilization management, and social services. We also have developed a preceptor program that provides education and support. Another benefit is identifying and investing in new leaders for the department. If people have a good preceptor and value the experience, they are more likely to volunteer themselves.
Continued education for current staff is the second component of the educator role. Engaging staff in how things are going, identifying areas in need of improvement, or implementing more efficient processes can greatly enhance team performance. With so many variables associated with hospital case management, it is very helpful to have a strong foundation to lean on when things get hectic. 
Q: What are the benefits of a having a full-time case management educator?
A: I believe the facility recognized the need to support new employees in a well-developed orientation program that in turn, supports seasoned staff. When seasoned staff members trust that new employees are receiving the appropriate training, they can also trust that they will be a vital asset to the team. Secondly, when new employees receive proper orientation, they feel more confident in new roles and have a greater sense of job satisfaction. No one enjoys feeling inadequate or unprepared for a challenging job. Also, a thorough orientation program can be the deciding factor for new applicants considering making a move to a new department or facility. All of these directly impact recruitment and retention and also ensures high quality performance of staff,
On a day-to-day basis, there is consistency and standardization of work roles and processes while also encouraging a deeper understanding of a multidisciplinary approach. Having a strong foundation (education) allows staff to work confidently in a stressful and challenging position common to hospital case management. This increases professionalism, team collaboration and quality work. Simply put: When you know better, you do better.
Q: Would you recommend a case management educator position at other facilities? 
A: I would definitely recommend an educator for other facilities. With the ever changing health care environment, the need for continued education and training for competencies on federal compliance, insurance coverage and benefits and care transition/coordination is vital to the success of the facility and ultimately to the patient. Furthermore, with the level of expertise needed for (e.g. Medicare), it is simply not feasible to provide all the necessary education without someone coordinating and dedicated to this process.
For more details about the position and how to institute it at your own facility check out the July issue of CMM.

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