October 13-19 is National Case Management Week. First introduced and recognized in 1998, the theme for the week is “Transitioning Patients and Case Managers to Greatness”.
So what is Case Management? The 2010 definition approved by The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) is:
“Case management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s and family’s comprehensive health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality cost-effective outcomes.”
Case managers are advocates who help patients understand their current health status, what they can do about it and why those treatments are important.
In this way, care managers are catalysts by guiding patients and providing cohesion to other professionals in the health care delivery team, enabling their clients to achieve goals more effectively and efficiently.
Case Managers transitions patients back to their homes, sometimes with Home Health Agencies, and sometimes with Home infusion Agencies. Patients are also transitioned to still another environment such as Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living and Adult Family Homes.
“Case Managers love what we do,” says Capital’s Case Management Director, Sonji Lightbourn, RN, MSN, MBA. “Our main purpose is to transition patients from the hospital into a safe environment outside the hospital. We call it a success when a patient can transition from the hospital to a safe environment.
“We understand that sometimes going from home into a facility is very difficult for the patient. We pride ourselves on trying to make it a smooth transition to relieve the patient and their family of the fear of going into a Skilled Nursing facility. Many times the case manager will have to have conversations with the patient and their family about facilities and what is the expectation of the patients,” Sonji says.
Sonji points out that in many facilities her team is called “Care Managers.”
“That is what we do, we care!” she expresses. “We care so much that we want the best for our patients. Case Managers believe we don’t need a reason to help people. And why … ? Because it is what we do! Caring is how you transition patients and Case Managers to greatness. At Capital Medical Center, we take pride in doing what is right the first time for every patient with every encounter.”