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5 Benefits Of Case Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By October 2, 2020 No Comments
Fight Against Covid-19 message with handmade small paper hearts
Even before the coronavirus crisis, hospitals were already facing challenges in managing hospital flow.  According to this article from the US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, 10% to 15% of caseloads that exceed 40 to 50 patients are high risk, making it a struggle for health care professionals to perform their jobs more effectively. With the pandemic, managing flow has become even more difficult as COVID-19 patients’ treatment becomes a top priority.

Even now, as the world eases back into everyday life, health systems are still struggling to keep up with the surge of patients needing surgeries and other required care that’s been initially delayed.  A case management specialist moves claims forward by acting as a bridge between the healthcare team, and the patients and their families.    Case managers also go the extra mile to help injured employees receive the appropriate care even during these challenging times.

Reaching out to case management companies during the COVID-19 pandemic is more critical now than ever to support the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.  That being said, here is a list of the five benefits of medical case management during the coronavirus crisis.

Effective Coordination

Social distancing prevented providers from visiting the injured employee, and as more people get hospitalized, capacity comes at a premium.  This situation leads to treatment delays and, in turn, makes the claims more complicated and time-consuming.

Case managers solve this problem by assisting providers in coming up with treatment options and organizing appointments that otherwise could have been canceled or postponed because of social distancing restrictions, ensuring that the injured worker receives the necessary care as soon as possible.

And regarding hospital flow, case managers can assess if patient admission is appropriate.  Moreover, they can also determine the length of stay necessary.  By effectively managing how patients enter and leave the hospital, case managers drastically improve patient flow.  This type of coordination is achieved by case managers working closely with providers to help set up teleconferencing office visits, any required physical therapy sessions, and follow up visits.

They also utilize evidence-based tools and review criteria during the admission decision-making period to determine the patient’s appropriate status.  This decision-making is done in coordination with the doctors.  After deliberation, the injured employee will be identified as an inpatient, an observation patient, or an outpatient with bed rest.  Their five points of access to hospital care are as follows:

  • Emergency department
  • Scheduled admissions
  • Transfers
  • Direct admissions
  • Internal transfers

Effective case management is characterized by appropriate, timely transition where the patient is comprehensively assessed through understanding their clinical, financial, and psychosocial needs.  Doing this will result in an effective transition plan while working closely with the patients and their families.

Employee Safety

Case managers keep updated with the latest COVID-19 guidelines by the CDC.  In turn, they share this knowledge to educate injured employees and make sure that they know the best ways to protect themselves amidst the pandemic.  This form of educating is crucial as the injured employees attend appointments with the provider or carry on with their day to day activities.

The case manager may offer guidance on the best ways to maintain social distance, especially in public areas such as waiting rooms.  This ensures that the patient knows how to avoid possible exposure.

Case managers help these employees face COVID-19 head-on by ensuring that they follow through with getting their results while following the COVID-19 guidelines set by health organizations.

Priority In Accommodating High-Risk Injured Employees

Case managers prioritize coordinating with injured employees who have more delicate immune systems, especially older patients.   They make sure that these patients follow COVID-19 prevention protocols religiously, to protect themselves from contracting the illness.

A case management specialist can utilize video conferencing to maintain face to face connection with the high risk injured employee.  This connection enables them to have a more empathetic interaction with the patient.

Handling Cancelled Appointments

Because of coronavirus restrictions, postponement or cancellation of elective surgery or other procedures are inevitable.  Injured employees may suffer from anxiety because of this.  They might feel helpless and worry about the uncertainty of their condition.  This feeling of hopelessness may lead them to abandon the necessary health routines.

Case managers, via videoconferencing, can motivate these individuals to continue their current health routines and exercises.  This interaction physically and mentally prepares the injured employee to receive surgery once it becomes rescheduled.

Moral Support

Injured employees most likely will always suffer from varying levels of anxiety after their injury.  They’ll usually worry about if they’d still have a job after their recovery, or if they’ll ever recover.  Financial uncertainties also contribute to this anxiety, especially if their appointments for treatment keep getting canceled.  When you hear about job layoffs left and right, it’s just understandable that one would feel this way.

Case managers can help reduce this anxiety by being empathetic with the injured employee.  Empathy is best shown by acknowledging and addressing the employee’s concerns and educating them about their access to care and the treatment protocols.

The case managers are vital in easing the fears of the employees who have suffered from work-related injuries.  By lending an empathetic ear, they can help the employee maintain a positive outlook on their recovery.

Conclusion

Effective medical case management makes sure that hospital flow keeps moving, with every patient being directed to where they can be given the proper care as either inpatients or outpatients. Case managers achieve this organized flow by maintaining communication between the injured employees and providers, resulting in an effective discharge plan.
But more than hospital flow, it’s the human aspect that’s dramatically impacted by case management.  And hiring the best case management companies is just the first step to help you achieve this for your organization, most notably the people behind it.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has thrown the world into a crisis.  One that case managers and other health care workers have never faced before, and we are now living in times where morale is low, and anxiety is at a higher level. Just being there for each other will make the most significant difference in the long run.

Call us today at 866.532.1929.

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