Acute Care Case Manager Tips
Acute care case managers have a central role to play in the future of healthcare. As medical providers across the spectrum attempt to rein in costs while simultaneously improving outcomes, they will rely heavily on acute care case managers to respond to the sickest patients. So how can those managers provide a higher level of service to patients while still meeting the goals of the provider organizations? Here are a few strategies currently being considered:
Coordinate Between Health and Social Services
In many cases, the sickest patients in the spectrum are also those who require a significant number of social services but lack access due to geographic location, health prohibitions, or bureaucratic red tape. Acute care case managers have a large role to play in coordinating a sick patient’s access to medical care and their access to social services like housing benefits and counseling.
Commit to the Use of ACOs
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are webs of collaborative healthcare providers who monitor patient care across a variety of settings – physician practices, clinics, hospitals, etc. This approach has been shown to improve outcomes while drastically reducing costs because it makes the community the point of care, rather than the hospital.
Rely on Algorithms
Some innovative providers including the VA are using advanced algorithms to analyze a patient’s complete medical history and perform predictive analysis. This analysis is designed to predict which patients have the highest risk of death in order to make informed decisions during triage situations and when weighing treatment options. In practice, these algorithms are able to synthesize more information than any single doctor could, making them a valuable tool when assessing care options.
Invest in Remote Patient Monitoring
Hospital admissions are both costly and often slow. Often by the time the sickest patients have been admitted to the hospital their condition has declined irreversibly. Increasingly, providers are relying on remote patient monitoring, either in the home or in a specialized treatment facility, to transmit real-time health information back to care providers. When doctors see a drop in blood pressure or a spike in insulin levels they can intervene faster and often without having to remove the patient from theie home.
Make Use of Telemedicine
Similar to remote patient monitoring, telemedicine connects patients and care providers using telecommunications rather than face-to-face interactions. This speeds up the time it takes to access care, addresses pressing issues before they become more severe, and extends care to isolated patient populations.
As you can see, health information management can do a lot to support the mission of acute care case managers. If your HIM staff are not yet ready to make an impact, contact the team at MedPartners.