Case management is a care distribution ideal intended to manage and handle patient care throughout the range of health care systems. Case management is one important aspect of the growing field of nursing informatics.
Case managers are usually involved over the entire episode of illness or disability or need for services. Although case managers can come from many fields, most have specialized training in nursing or social work. Nurses, in particular, are well-matched to this position because the tasks of case management strongly stick to the structure of the nursing practice. Therefore, nursing case management is an active and methodical mutual method to supply and synchronize health care assistance to a definite population.
The practice of case management in nursing depends a great deal on the type and structure of the organization. However, they adhere to the following principles:
- Assessment. Initially, the case manager would have to assess the patient admitted to the institution. The appraisal involves determining which type of care the patient should avail of and which medical professionals should be involved in providing health care.
- Planning. After the nursing case administrator has finalized the results of the assessment, she will create a plan of action – using SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment and plan) notes and coordinate with the rest of the health care team specifically chosen.
- Implementation. This will include execution of the action plan listed in the SOAP notes. It provides continuous care for the patient in terms of medication, nutrition, rehabilitation, diagnostics and therapeutic procedures to cater to their condition.
- Evaluation. This involves reviewing the case with the attending physician and determining if the patient is sound enough to be sent home or ill enough for hospitalization, or that he could benefit from a nursing home or hospice.
- Interaction. Communication is an essential part of being a nursing case manager, as this requires coordination with other health professionals involved in patient care. This also comprises relating to the patient and involving his family in taking care of him.
Case management as a practice develops the framework listed above and integrates additional factors, like patient recognition or case assortment (what kind of condition they have?); resource classification and sponsorship (how do they intend to pay for care?); synchronization, supervision, and estimation of care (how will the patient be taken care of?); data compilation and breakdown; and documentation of multiple conclusions, including expenditures, features, and client condition (what is the prognosis?).
Case managers in nursing carry out twofold objectives: there is the palpable medical aspect, and a social worker's involvement in the patient's interests. Nurses have a clear grasp of how the attending physician is maneuvering a patient’s treatment and how the other members of the health care team synchronize with this plan. In addition, they can assess the quality of life that the patient will most likely encounter during and after hospitalization. In summary, the primary goal of case management in nursing is for the patient (and their HMO, if involved) to get the maximum benefit and highest quality of care affordable. If you'd like an education in case management in nursing, you can begin by registering with one of the many excellent online programs available; you can also start with more traditional online nursing courses.