Case Management Focus: Collaboration Between Physicians and Case Managers Leads to Better Outcomes

20 Feb, 2024 Anne Llewellyn


Sarasota, FL ( -- Workers' Compensation Nurse Case Managers do not diagnose or treat people. They work with the medical team to coordinate care, increase communication to ensure smooth care transitions and help the injured worker progress from injury to wellness.

Nurse Case Managers ask questions on behalf of the patients and their families to ensure they have a voice in their care. As a result, the injured worker has a ‘stake in the game’ and follows the plan of care to help them move forward in their care to return to gainful employment.

Case managers can sometimes come across as aggressive, which can turn most people off and cause them to dismiss your role. All workers ' compensation case managers must strive to understand how to work collaboratively with physicians, specialists, and other care team members.

In this article, I share six tips on how workers' compensation nurses case managers can effectively work with physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare team members to achieve outcomes to meet their goals.

1. Build trust and partnership - Building trust and collaboration between clinicians, whether physicians, nurses, or allied health professionals, is key to a successful team.

2. Keep communication open – to collaborate effectively, you must have an equal partnership between the worker's compensation nurse case managers, physicians, and other healthcare team members, including the injured worker and employer. Open communication builds trust and mutual respect.

3. Face-to-face meetings help provide team-based care and build personal connections, leading to better handoffs and increased patient and provider satisfaction. Keeping these meetings short requires that all parties come prepared with updates and questions for the team.

4. Build a collaborative culture whereby all stakeholders have equal opportunities to talk so all voices can be heard. Collaboration begins at the top of an organization and should be carried through and modeled by everyone.

5 Encourage team training that brings all team members together to learn and network. In worker's compensation, team training and continuous education events allow us to bring our expertise to the table, enhancing the team's self-worth. The team should include the essential team members, including the injured worker, the employer, and others who have a role in the treatment plan and can be supportive in helping the injured worker return to gainful employment.

6. Recognize diversity as good. Having a difference of opinions is helpful when the team works together. When we work together, we develop better solutions to address challenges.

The bottom line in working collaboratively with physicians, pharmacists, and all team members is remembering what we aim to achieve. When we keep this goal in mind, it creates a better environment to work in.

These tips help as you build relationships with physicians and other team members so you can address challenges and celebrate their successes.

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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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