Case Management Focus: Case Managers as Influencers

06 Feb, 2024 Anne Llewellyn

                               

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCopensation.com) -- Workers' compensation case managers are resources for patients, their families, and healthcare team members. Case managers are viewed as influences and connectors who can get things done when others throw their hands up in difficult situations.

When case managers don't know something, they reach out to colleagues and their network and use their research skills to find the companies, organizations, and people who can provide answers to the questions they are searching for.

One of the competencies needed to be an influencer is to know how to network and find the people in organizations who can get problems worked out, address issues that arise at the most inconvenient times, and have the power to make things happen.

The responsibility that comes with this kind of power is essential to respect. If you find someone to help you get home care set up on Friday at 4:30 p.m., before a holiday weekend, you must ensure they get paid as promised because everyone else has left. Your credibility is on the line when you work with a vendor, a provider, or others who help you meet your patient's needs. Ensure they are taken care of the way they are there for you.

As a new case manager, I had to learn this case by case. I built my network by attending conferences, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other areas where my patients received care. I talked to everyone who was able to help me. I got their cards and followed up with them if I told them I would introduce them to someone or get them the information they needed. Doing so helped me build long-lasting relationships with those who, in turn, supplied the resources I needed for my patients.

I continue to be a connector to my colleagues, vendors, and providers I work with. I can pick up the phone or send an email asking someone for help, and I usually get a call, email, or text with information that points me in the right direction in a timely manner.

I also do this for my colleagues and always follow up to see if the information I give them works out.

I let the people know why I am referring to or connecting them to a specific person and why they would be a good fit.

To all case managers reading this article, think back on your relationships with your colleagues, vendors, and healthcare team members. Have you nurtured your relationships? When they come through, do you send a note of thanks to the person who gave you the information and let them know you are there, as they were there for you? Take time to do that – an important part of being an influencer.

Networking and research are vital competencies every case manager works on every day of their career. We never know when we will need a favor from someone, so keeping your contacts updated is essential.

One thing I will say to all reading is never take a favor from someone who expects payment or something in return for a referral or a patient who can use their services. Doing so would be unethical, so be careful to keep things on the up and up. An excellent resource to help keep you on an ethical path is being familiar with the Case Management Standards of Practice. You can get a copy at www.cmsa.org


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    About The Author

    • Anne Llewellyn

      Anne Llewellyn is a registered nurse with over forty years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, healthcare publications and training and development. Anne has been a leader in the area of Patient Advocacy since 2010. She was a Founding member of the Patient Advocate Certification Board and is currently serving on the National Association of Health Care Advocacy. Anne writes a weekly Blog, Nurse Advocate to share stories and events that will educate and empower people be better prepared when they enter the healthcare system.

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