For the lack of a single recognized definition, defining the concept of case management can be a bit cumbersome. A quick search on the best case management practices can lead to numerous helpful results, but they might be overwhelming as well, particularly for organizations that are just starting their case management journey or are working with old procedures. So, what does case management software mean, and how is it effective? How far has case management come since the years when casework was all handled offline?
What is Case Management?
It is a collaborative process that helps assess, plan, implement, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the options and services needed to meet a client’s health care coverage and needs. Case management software is a digital tool that helps organizations in handling case management. At its core, case management software is all about transforming lives through individualized care and services that help clients meet their goals.
The underlying fact about the premise of case management is that when an individual arrives at an idle degree of wellness and functional capability, everyone benefits: the people served, their supportive networks, the various repayment sources, and the health care delivery systems.
It also helps achieve client well-being and autonomy through support, communication, education, and identification of service resources. The case manager identifies appropriate providers and facilities throughout the continuum of services while guaranteeing that the available resources are being used in a timely and cost-effective manner. It helps to get optimum value for both the client and the reimbursement source. Case management services work best in a climate that allows direct correspondence between the case manager, client, and the appropriate service staff.
Around 682,000 case managers and social workers operate alone in the United States of America – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest research. The number of social workers will increase by around 15% in the next ten years due to the constantly increasing need for social services space. This projection is a clear indication that the need for data-driven non-profit organizations will only grow more and more in the future to support social workers.
Apart from organizations needing to be data-driven, these statistics also clearly show how essential the case management is to work done by the government organizations, NGOs, and the larger communities in which the case managers work.
There are four key components of case management: Intake, Needs Assessment, Service Planning, and Monitoring and Evaluation. Human service organizations, whether small, medium, or large, all require the correct implementation of each of these four components to ensure their clients’ success.
Let us now go through the components of case management in detail.
Intake: Intake is the term used for the initial meeting between a case manager and his/her new client. The case manager makes use of this time to gather all the essential demographic information about the client, identify immediate needs, if any, and establish trust between the two by building a relationship.
This first interaction helps a case manager to evaluate if the client would potentially benefit from the services the organization offers or not. If they should/would, they then move on to the next component and start assessing the client’s individual needs. If their needs fall outside the organization, the case manager works to identify and refer the client to an outside community resource.
Needs Assessment: The information collected during the Intake stage serves as a base for the Needs Assessment stage. The main thing done by the case manager in this stage is performing in-depth research on the client’s challenges and goals. During this stage, a case manager’s primary objective is identifying the client’s problems, interests, and risks to success. While every client goes through the stage of a needs assessment when they first come to an organization, it’s important to re-evaluate over time to check for changes in needs and circumstances.
Service Planning: The Service Planning stage is extremely important to the success or failure of a client. In this stage, the case manager establishes specific goals and plans to fulfill those goals. This goal-setting process’s ultimate result is a case plan inclusive of outputs and outcomes that will measure the client’s success. A service plan should be inclusive of both the elements of achievability and measurability.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Monitoring and evaluation are critical in understanding the impact that programs and specific services have on a client. With the help of the output and outcome metrics defined in the previous stages, a case manager continuously monitors and evaluates his/her clients’ progress. The quantified and qualified success rather than being anecdotal through evaluation and continuous data monitoring ensures the client’s goals.
Since each of the four components of case management plays a crucial part in case management, how are they successfully implemented? And how do we support this case management process after we implement it?
The Case Management Software
That’s where the system of PlanStreet comes in. It is a comprehensive case management system built on all the core components of case management. The best practices focus on each of the four components built right into your PlanStreet Case Management system so that you can easily start collecting data and measuring your progress right away.
Intake: As soon as the new clients walk through the door, you must seamlessly add them to your PlanStreet Case Management system. It will ensure that you collect all the information you need before you create a full client profile.
Needs Assessment: You can benefit from our numerous evidence-based forms or simply create your assessment tools. It will help in gauging the client’s needs and accurately assigning their services.
Service Planning: The client’s information and case plans kept in organized-based programs ensure to keep a record of the client’s data. As your client’s needs change, this will help you to update their records easily.
Monitoring and Evaluation: The measurement and management of the client’s success can be easily done with just a push of a button with in-built reports and forms. Continuous monitoring will result in the achievement of long-term outcomes.
Of all the frameworks in use, case management’s potential as a case delivery framework to relieve three of the most significant pressures is most overlooked– to improve quality, increase operational efficiency, and improve profitability. Its capabilities continue to remain underutilized in all organizations and areas that need it the most.
For example, in terms of costs, the hospital leaders are wrestling most with the pressures of increasing labor, inefficient processes, stay of patients beyond planned discharge, recidivism, clinical quality penalties, and other unnecessary procedures.
A one-stop solution for all these pressures is designed and built case management software as a methodology.
In order to be truly effective, a hospital’s case management service needs to have a capability strategy, repeatable design, standardized setup of all resources, and an efficient internally integrated workflow.
Supported by effective processes, tools, and information, case management can thus be a powerful weapon to achieve the goal of quality and profitability in your organization. You must take advantage of case management best practices built on implementations of thousands of organizations just like yours. You must see PlanStreet in Action!