Case managers are struggling. Preliminary results from over 5,900 CCMs in our recent “Checking in With Our CCMs” survey reveals some of the burdens our case managers carry, and it’s eye-opening.
We’re not that surprised by the results on the professional side. Most case managers are working remotely (57%) and have limited contact with clients and patients (55%). Some, however, have been called upon to work on the frontlines. Regardless, many (40%) are fielding more questions than ever from clients and patients.
Significant percentages are dealing with staff shortages (15%) and lack of supplies (28%). Clearly, work has become more challenging, but that’s to be expected. And we know that professional case managers will always rise to the challenge.
What has been a surprise is how much the coronavirus has personally affected case managers. We’re seeing that, as you continue to advocate for clients and connect them to the resources they need, many case managers themselves carry a heavy burden.
We’re seeing significant percentages for food scarcity among case managers (16.6%) and income loss (30.5%). More than 21% of today’s case managers report clinical health issues. About 5% of those responding say the practice or organization they work for has shut down completely. Most distressing of all, much more than we anticipated—5.3% of case managers—report losing loved ones to COVID-19.
It’s a dark time for many in our profession and yet, as we move forward with resilience and commitment, we find sources of encouragement. I found one in the preliminary results: There’s a real hunger to learn about the coronavirus. Our CCMs want to know more so they can be trusted resources to clients and to colleagues—and perhaps to friends and family.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn are taking a toll on your mental health. In fact, it’s negatively affected the mental health of 45% of U.S. adults, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
So the first resource we’ll offer is a simple three-pager from WHO with a self-explanatory title: “Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Webinars and training
Organizations and companies in the health and medical space are making available on an array of COVID-19-related webinars and other educational programs we would like to share with you—most are free.
The National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) COVID-19 page includes educational and advocacy resources, broken down by category (e.g., ethics, workforce, etc.). It also has links to webinars that are free to NASW members.
The Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network’s dedicated COVID-19 page features webinars and communication tools. It also provides information about a nightly (M-TH) online discussion for hospice and palliative care professionals.
The Alliance for Health Policy has produced a series of COVID-19 webinars. The focus is on public health, but some have direct application for case managers, including COVID-19 Webinar Series Session 9 – Social Isolation and Loneliness.
Nurse.org has curated five online training resources for nurses.
The Institute for Health Improvement has curated a collection of COVID-19 guidance and resources, including a link to its Virtual Learning Hour Special Series.
The National Academy of Medicine provides an array of coronavirus resources, including webinars and videos.
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing’s site features links to basic resources as well as several webinars. Of particular interest is the section “Telephone Triage and COVID-19.”
American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s robust COVID-19 Response Webinar Series deserves a mention. Many of the topics understandably relate to academia, but some have applications for case managers across professional settings.
Publishers and professional societies are stepping up; most are making COVID-19 research available at no charge. Among the many journals providing free access to COVID-19-related research are:
The New England Journal of Medicine
British Medical Journal
Lippincott Nursing Center: COVID-19’s comprehensive, frequently updated website offers links to journal articles, reports and educational materials. It also features podcasts and blog posts and provides a link to each state’s board of nursing.
UpToDate: Coronavirus disease: This evidence-based, peer-reviewed and frequently updated clinical decision-support resource provides the most current information on COVID-19. It covers everything from epidemiology and virology to prevention and management. Clickable footnotes show you abstracts of all the original research cited. It’s a good place to start.
Chances are, you, your clients and colleagues are overwhelmed with news about COVID-19, so we’ll keep this list short.
MedPage Today and Medscape, targeted primarily to health care professionals, provide Coronavirus coverage with a focus on research. MedPage also features links to educational resources that are pre-approved for CCM continuing education credits.
Kaiser Health News, targeted to a broad audience, provides a daily roundup of news from both mainstream media and health-related publications—including original reporting.
Many of your clients—or their loved ones—may be confused and overwhelmed by all the information coming at them.
COVID-19 basics (UpToDate): Like the professional version, this is a peer-reviewed and a regularly updated overview of the COVID basics—except this one is designed for consumers.
CDC’s public-facing COVID-19 site: Again, this covers the basics; it includes links to updates and surveillance data, but it’s mostly about the basics of staying healthy and recognizing symptoms.
In addition, Kaiser Health News, mentioned above, provides a daily non-partisan, a curated roundup of Coronavirus-related news.
The Big Three
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include links to what are probably the three most important sites for COVID-19 information. You’re familiar with them, of course: CDC, WHO, and the National Institutes of Health.
We’ll be in touch soon with the full results of the Commission’s “Checking in With Our CCMs” survey. And if you’ve found resources to help you better fight this pandemic, let us know through the Commission’s social media channels so we can share them with your colleagues. Until then, be well.
Note: Please visit our COVID-19 webpage for updates on the Commission and to stay current on how to get certified and stay certified. You may also find our brief COVID-19 podcasts here.
Guest post from Mary Beth Kurland, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Commission for Case Manager Certification
MaryBeth Kurland leads and sets the Commission’s strategic mission and vision. She manages relationships with like-minded organizations and oversees business development as well as the Commission’s programs, products, and services. She works directly with the Board of Commissioners, building its corps of volunteer and subject-matter experts who directly support and evaluate certification and related services.
Prior to becoming CEO, Kurland served as the Commission’s chief operations officer and was the staff lead for the development and launch of the Commission’s signature conference, the CCMC New World Symposium®. Kurland brings extensive experience to her role, having served as executive director of organizations, including the Association of Medical Media, Office Business Center Association International and the League of Professional System Administrators.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, the American Society of Association Executives and the Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives. In 2011, Kurland was recognized as Association TRENDS Young & Aspiring Association Professional.