At a meeting I attended a few weeks ago, Nancy Skinner shared a new program she was delivering. The title, Does Your Mother Know What You Do? This is a common question in case management circles because we can’t understand why no one recognizes our work. Not even our families! I am sure many of you reading this post have people asking you what you do. This may be why people say Case Management is the Best Kept Secret in healthcare. There are many reasons for this. The main reason, in my view, is that the practice of case management comprises primary nurses and social workers who look at their work as their job, and it does not deserve any special recognition.
Case Managers do work that not everyone cannot or does not want to do. Here are a few things that separate us from the rest:
- We use our voices to stand up for our patients at their lowest points.
- We listen to our patients and families when no one else is listening.
- We look for resources when everyone else says no
- We bring the team together to improve collaboration.
- We talk to all the parties and help them talk to each other.
- We stand with people who are at thier most vulnerable state
So, regardless of your workplace setting, it is time to toot your own horn and tell everyone what you do as a case manager. Take credit for the wins you make. Share the ‘atta boys’ given to you by patients, families, and team members. Stand proud because you advocate for your patient when everyone says this is how the system works. Case managers don’t stand for the status quo. We are disruptors in a complex, fragmented, and costly system. Standing up for a patient/family/physician or other team member is difficult, but case managers do it daily.
To drive this point home, the Centers For Case Management and the SocietyCase Management Society of America wrote a Position Paper titled Communicating Your Value: The Case Manager’s Guide. The Position Paper covers each area of case management and highlights the value case managers bring to the patient/family, the organization, your colleagues, and your communities. It is a ‘must read’ and ‘must share’ publication that points to the value of the case management practice.
Take time to read this critical position paper, and if you see something left out, share your comments with CMSA and the Center for Case Manager Community. You can get your copy for free at https://cmsa.org/cmsa-cfcm-position-paper-2023
As we wrap up Case Management Month – I want to thank all case managers for all you do! Your work is appreciated.
Editors Note: If you would like to reach out to Nancy Skinner, Past President of CMSA and National Speaker, feel free to call her at 423-645-3453 or email her at [email protected]