Case Management

Picking the best case manager for the ED job

Case Management Insider, July 28, 2015

Today, more and more emergency departments (ED) are using designated case managers to improve care. There are many advantages to having a case manager in the ED, from improving quality of care to ensuring appropriate level of care.

But it can take a special person to take on the role, according to the HCPro book Emergency Department Case Management, The Compendium for Best Practices.

When looking to fill this slot, the goal should be to find the case manager who best fits the job, which will be unique depending on the organization. But there are some traits that will help ensure a successful fit, according to book authors Kathleen Walsh, RN, PhD, is a consulting associate with The Center for Case Management in Wellesley, Massachusetts and Karen Zander, RN, MS, CMAC, FAAN, president and CEO of The Center for Case Management.

While it doesn’t always ensure success, it’s typically a good idea to find a candidate that has both ED and case management experience, they wrote. But while this experience is a bonus, you also need someone who will be able to fit seamlessly into the ED team.

You’ll want to assess each individual based on their:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teaching skills Negotiating skills

Ensure that you have a clear idea of what this case manager’s role will be by defining the job ahead of time. The book recommends identifying the following:

  • Where the ED case manager fits in the organizational chart
  • Hours of work
  • Orientation schedule
  • Support services that are set up (i.e., managerial, physician advisor, secretarial, information systems, and mentor support, both in the case management department and the ED)
  • Location of desk, resources (e.g., phone, pager, printer/fax, online and hard copy documents and medical records), and other supplies
  • Availability and contact information for consult services (e.g., social service, physical therapy, patient financial services)

By laying the groundwork and choosing the applicant carefully, you’ll have a much better chance of ensuring that the new employee does well in his or her role and benefits the organization.

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