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Case Management Focus: 10 Ways to Maximize Windshield Time

26 Jul, 2023 Anne Llewellyn

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Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) -- I talked to a colleague recently, and she used a term I had not heard before. She said I have a lot of 'Windshield Time ' this week. I asked her what she meant by windshield time. She said it is the time you spend behind the wheel or in some form of transportation going to and from appointments. 

As I pondered this, I remember early in my case management career as an onsite case manager and did quite a bit of driving to see my patients. I am in South Florida. My territory was from my home in Plantation and north to Port St. Lucie, and south to the Florida Keys.

Being on the road was fun; it gave me independence and allowed me to travel to various places and get to know the area as I was new to Florida.

Believe it or not, I was a field case manager before we had GPS in our phones – so before going to an appointment, I would have to MapQuest the address and bring the directions with me so I knew where I was going. I gave myself plenty of time so if I got lost, I would still be on time for the appointment. My husband always wondered how I made it home as I don't have a great sense of direction!

Being on the road could also be time-consuming, so planning was necessary. Knowing the best time to go and avoiding high-traffic routes was vital to be on time and avoid sitting in traffic for long periods.

Onsite case managers need to be organized as they have to juggle a caseload and our personal issues. Here are some tips I learned as an onsite case manager that helped me maximize "windshield time."

(1) Windshield time allows you to prepare mentally and emotionally before the visit and review what happened afterward.

(2) Look up where you are going so you have an idea of the route you will take and how long it will take you to get them. Plan your drive accordingly.

(3) Give yourself plenty of time – you never know if you will hit traffic jams.

(4) Use the hands-free feature on your phone to have both hands on the wheel if you have to use your phone.

(5) If you take calls when you drive, pull over so you are not a distracted driver.

(6) Know the rules in your state about using cell phones. Follow them so you want to avoid getting a ticket.

(7) When you reach your location, take a few minutes to re-group and get ready for the appointment.

(8) After the appointment, document your notes while they are fresh in your mind. Once home, you can transfer them to your computer. Some onsite nurses have I pads they can use to chart. Technology can be our friend!

(9) Try to coordinate appointments if you have multiple appointments in a day. Schedule a day to be in your office to catch up on paperwork.

(10) Find a good radio station that keeps you relaxed. If you run late, let someone know so they know where you are!

Email me if you have found ways to maximize your windshield time, and I will include it in a future post.

    Have a good week, and be safe out there!


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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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