Medical case management—it’s one of the most challenging jobs out there. A medical case manager requires plenty of organization and coordination as you assess and liaise with patients, helping them manage their treatment and care.
You might find yourself working in a hospital, doctor’s office, or outpatient treatment center, acting as a middleman between patients and their medical team.
If you’re starting as a case manager, how can you be sure to succeed in the role? It helps to know a few tips—keep reading to find five medical case management tips to help anyone working in the healthcare field.
1. Invest in the Right Tools
To be successful as a case manager, you need to access the right healthcare management tools. They’ll help keep you organized, ensuring you’re prepared for each day of work.
Working as a case manager, you’re likely to be juggling many clients, so case management software is essential in keeping you on track. It will help you remember details, track referrals, and alert you when it’s time to follow up with a patient.
It also makes life easier when multiple care staff or doctors are working with a patient simultaneously, as that way, everyone can access the patient’s records and add notes to their file.
You can also find software designed specifically for each type of medicine, such as physiotherapy patient management software. If your medical team isn’t already using a software program, talk to management about investing in one.
At the bare minimum, you should be using project management skills to track and manage all of your patients.
2. Be Proactive
Wondering how to manage cases more effectively? If so, we recommend being proactive rather than reactive.
You want to prevent problems before they begin, so be proactive when working with all of your patients. Try to think a step ahead—what risks or problems might your patient encounter in the future?
Then, think of what you can do to stop the problems from occurring. Keep in mind that sometimes, all it takes is a friendly phone call to help a patient.
However, if you encounter a serious problem that you don’t know how to manage, remember that your colleagues and manager always provide guidance.
3. Take the Time to Get to Know Your Colleagues
Case managers help patients navigate the medical system and act as liaisons between their doctors, therapists, and care team. In addition, it can help you get to know the doctors, therapists, and specialists that your patients will be meeting with to make your job easier.
The more you understand how they like to work, the easier it will be for you to manage your patient’s case. For this reason, it can help to go along to networking evenings or take the time to chat with various doctors within your field, getting to know them.
It’s also helpful to familiarize yourself with resources in the community, as you can refer patients to them. For example, charities, support groups, and free clinics can all be beneficial to patients.
Why not make up a resource guide that you can share with patients? They’re sure to appreciate the assistance.
4. Be Prompt in Your Communication
As a medical case manager, one of our top tips is to focus on your communication. You should always be prompt, clear, and accurate when communicating.
Your patients depend on you for guidance, letting them know what they need to do, where to go, and any critical details. To make things easier for them, try to be clear with your communications.
Try to reply quickly as well, so no one is left waiting around for a reply.
To make things easier, you might even want to create templates for yourself. For example, do you often send emails or write similar letters?
If so, instead of writing the same thing repeatedly, you can develop a template that you can reuse, which will save you lots of time.
5. Treat Patients With Care
The most important thing to succeed as a case manager is always treating patients with care and respect. Many patients are dealing with chronic health conditions, serious illness, or mental health issues, so that they may have spent most of their life within the health system.
They might be tired, frustrated, and have been bounced from caseworker to caseworker, which isn’t easy for them. If you want to win their respect, one great thing to do is treat patients like humans.
You’re sure to get tired and frustrated yourself, as a caseworker can sometimes be a thankless job. But if you treat everyone with kindness, care, respect, and patience, it can make the job much easier.
Improve Your Medical Case Management Practices With These Tips
Whether you’re new to the job or just looking to improve your skills, these medical case management tips are sure to save you time and win your praise from colleagues!
Think about your daily routine at work–what are you doing well, and what could use some improvements? If you can implement some of the tips above into your working routine, it’ll take your career to the next level!
Being a case manager isn’t always easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding—you’re sure to find success in the field with patience, organization, and care for others.
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