The ONE tool that will help pass the CCM Exam

Recently, I was emailed a question from a case manager who was preparing to sit for the CCMC Exam for the 2nd time. I decided to write this article as it is a common question. his questions from a case manager who is preparing to take the CCM Exam for the 2nd time. She is searching for the ONE tool that will help her pass. In my answer, I try to tell her that there is no magic tool. She has purchased a number of tools. Now she has to do the work to understand the material so that she can answer the questions on the exam by critically thinking.

To Post or Not to Post?

The discharge planning process always moved quickly, but today it’s on steroids! Case managers face intense pressure to quickly transition patients to that next level of care, or home. Whether you case manage for a hospital, an MCO, or a community-based agency, you need information when you need it! That means you need a space to ask questions that provide responses “in the moment” and that is often not the workplace! Social media has become the fastest way for case managers and other healthcare professionals to quickly get information on what resource to use, and when!

More and more new case managers are entering the workforce than ever before, and their onboarding happens at warp speed. They commonly ping “friends” or tag “connections for discharge planning and other resources, from treatment and provider recommendations to specific home health agencies and skilled nursing homes. Complex patient circumstances become an opportunity for colleagues to weigh in on the management of everything from addiction and family dynamics to those “tough to place” patients, prescription drug access, and other psychosocial circumstances. After all, there’s no harm in asking for this information, right? WRONG!

Seeking Social Media Recommendations: The Ethical Quandary for Case Management

Case managers and other healthcare professional who are Seeking Social Media Recommendations, become an Ethical Quandary for Case Management as they commonly ping “friends” or tag “connections” for resource info from treatment and provider recommendations to specific home health agencies and skilled nursing homes. Complex patient circumstances become group chats. After all, there’s no harm in seeking consultation or recommendations, right? Read how unintentional posts become ethical and legal missteps, and how to best manage them.

Need to Renew your Case Manager Certification Soon? 10 Tips to Help You Through the Journey

If you are a new Certified Case Manager, congratulations. Once you get over celebrating, it is time to think about how you will maintain your hard-earned certification!

You will need to renew your Case Manager Certification soon, and here are 10 tips to help you through your journey.

Read the renewal rules for your certifications. Each Body has specific rules you need to follow. Print off the renewal handbook and READ IT. 

Inquiring Minds Want to Know… Who is ANCC and Why Should YOU Know Them? 

Who is ANCC? 

ANCC stands for the American Nursing Credentialing Center. ANCC is the credentialing arm of the American Nursing Association, the professional organization for nurses. ANCC credentials for both organizations and individuals who advance nursing. In addition to accreditation and certification programs, ANCC also offers ways for organizations to achieve Magnet Status as well as a program titled; Pathways to Excellence. Each recognizes excellence in Nursing.  

Your ANCC Nursing Case Management Certification Questions Answered

What is the ANCC Nurse Case Management Certification Exam? 

The ANCC (American Nursing Credentialing Center) Nurse Case Management Certification exam is one of the many certifications case managers can take to validate their work in case management. The major difference between this one and the other case management certification exams is that the ANCC exam is focused on the nursing process. 

The largest discipline to work in case management, utilization management, and population health is nursing. As a result, the ANCC developed the Nursing Case Management Exam specifically for registered nurses who work in case management across the broad healthcare continuum. 

Case Managers Are…What is a Case Manager?

Case Managers Are…What is a Case Manager?

I knew who Cherry Ames was, the world war II student Nurse who inspired me in books and  I watched MASH the tv series that changed my life presenting strong, expert role models in Nursing.  With a peaked interest, I went on to read Florence Nightingale’s notes on Nursing. All I knew then was I wanted to be close to,  and make a difference for, my patients in an honorable, expert, loving way.

Yet the role that made a difference on a tele floor after a landmark leap of faith involved a move to Hawaii from another country.

What did I observe that staggered me? Who were these Case Managers and what was involved in this journey? 

I watched in admiration as Case Managers were the glue that made the pieces of this machine called the US health care system work in synergy on behalf of frightened patients in need;

Case Managers Are…Case managers are the forefront of quality measures

Case Managers Are…Case managers are the forefront of quality measures

Case managers are at the forefront of quality measures in the clinic. From ensuring compliance with screenings to medication adherence, the entirety of a patient’s health is a priority. All people want a high-quality experience wherever service is rendered. Case managers are the key holders to drive the needle up in quality. What is high quality? From a case manager’s perspective, it means treating patients with the absolute best care just as if they were your own family member. Oftentimes, providers are consumed with paperwork and documentation requirements that there is just not enough time in the day to check if the next patient on the schedule is up to date on the wellness visit, screenings, vaccines, and to ask about memory concerns or fall risks. A simple screening questionnaire by the case manager can easily identify all the gaps in care and barriers to managing care. A quick conversation with the patient can also identify any need for intervention with memory concerns or falls. Let’s say a patient is a fall risk and is referred to physical therapy to improve balance. The simple referral for the patient could save thousands in hospital costs should they fall and become injured without the therapy. The autonomy of a certified case manager with a background in healthcare is invaluable and provides an additional resource to the clinic to drive up those quality measures.

Case Managers Are…Case managers are first, patient advocates

Case Managers Are…Case managers are first, patient advocates

Case management falls under the umbrella of the health and human services profession.  Its’ philosophy is based on the belief that everyone benefits when clients reach their optimum level of wellness, self-management, and functional capability (CCMC, 2022).  Oftentimes we find patients in the hospital without friends or family.  They are frightened and confused with all the information that is being thrown at them.  In their mind, the doctor is in a hurry and the nurses are scrambling around just trying to get through the day. They are afraid to ask questions, for fear of feeling like a burden.  It all seems like a whirlwind.  It is in this moment of chaos that the case manager can provide the patient with a sense of calmness.  Case managers can be the person that sits down with the patient and takes the time to answer their questions, all while making sure they do not feel rushed.  We can rest in the fact that we have provided clarity and understanding to a once unclear plan.  

Case managers are first, patient advocates, and it is our duty to ensure that each patient we encounter has equal access to proper healthcare and the resources and support they need to live the fullest life possible.   Our primary goal is to help our patients, and that includes supporting them and promoting their wishes.  Case managers are champions for our patients and families.  We find ourselves being interjected into a patient’s life during very vulnerable, and what may seem to them, hopeless times.  We are there to help them navigate these treacherous waters. 

Case Managers Are…Case managers are collaborators

Case Managers Are…Case managers are collaborators

Case managers are a difficult group to describe. We take on roles like a chameleon; ever-changing to meet the needs that are as complex as the populations we serve. Our role is often misunderstood, or even invisible to the professionals that rely on the work that we do. Our efforts are understated, yet incredibly important in assisting those that would be lost through the cracks.

I have often tried explaining what I do as a case manager but my descriptions never seem to do the profession justice. Our role is sometimes difficult to conceptualize because it falls into so many different categories and overlaps with multiple other professions. Most people I speak to are vaguely aware of the term but most are unaware of what a case manager does. Sometimes people will ask me if I am still a nurse. I’m not at the bedside dressing wounds or administering medications. I work at a computer and some days I stay in my pajamas all day, with Kitty slippers and all. Despite this, I am still a nurse. To be precise I am a nurse case manager. I am using my skills and working under a license just as I did before, only the work that I perform now is strictly mental and knowledge-based rather than procedural. I am using my experience and expertise to make sure that my clients are getting appropriate care, that they are taking the right steps to care for themselves, and that they know what to do when things fall apart. Of course, not all case managers are nurses. We are social workers and mental health specialists, among many other professions.