Why I love case management? Like a Good Casserole!

Who does not love a good casserole? Broccoli casserole, Chicken and Rice casserole, Mexican casserole, Cheesy Squash casserole, these are the grunt workers of family suppers that make all things come together, make a meal a complete meal, make everyone want to come back for seconds and always have recipe requests pouring in.  

So, one may inquire, why are we talking about casseroles regarding Case Management.  That’s easy, Case Managers are the grunt workers, if you will of the Healthcare Industry.  Case Managers enable all things to smoothly come together, ties up all loose ends in a tidy bow, allows open communications from all aspects of the member care team and the member, and educates daily on how to best put all the ingredients together to form the best healthcare outcomes.  Case Management is the Casserole of the Healthcare system, and that is “Why I love Case Management.” 

Let me elaborate more on this correlation.  A casserole is a melty mix of random ingredients all combined to form one memorable taste bud experience.  A busy Mom, can retreat to her pantry and deep freezer, come back, and whip up her family’s favorite meal by simply combining the right ingredients, the right amounts and bake at the right temperature.   Case Managers have this unique gift as well.  Daily random barriers are presented to our workload, we are diligent in working with what is provided to us to form the best possible outcome.  Busy Mom may not have white rice, but she has brown rice, therefore she can still succeed.  Case Managers may not have all the needed resources available but with years of experience can still work through hurdles to achieve what is needed in most cases.  I love case management because it melts together many aspects of member needs and addresses them all, just like casseroles melt together in the oven to become memorable taste bud experiences.  

Can a busy Mom serve her family just a can of green beans for supper? Sure, she could but I would assume there would be some unhappy campers at her supper table.  Mom adds a casserole, now she’s a genuine Betty Crooker.  Healthcare cannot be efficiently served without the utilizations of Case Managers. Case Managers make the sides dishes a full genuine Betty Crooker meal.  Safe discharges are facilitated by Case Management teams, transitions across levels of care are facilitated by Case Management teams and arranging all outpatient care needs are completed by a Case Management team.  “I love Case Management” because it makes the meal complete.  

Making a casserole is pretty basic in terms of culinary skills.  The end result is what has everyone asking for the recipe.  How much salt did you add, how many cups of cheese, what brand of rice did you use? All things are wanted to be known to replicate the same great result.  This can be compared to Case Managers in terms of education, goal setting and resource utilization.  Did the Case Manager educate sufficiently on emergency room utilization, medication compliance, preventative screenings to improve overall healthcare outcomes? Are the goals set member driven, obtainable, measurable? Were the appropriate resources utilized in the appropriate manner?  These are all questions a Case Manager must ask him or herself daily to ensure the best level of services are being provided.   “I love Case Management” because it always makes me question “what else can I do, what is my next step, how much time should I allot to the task?”  

Busy Mom here! Registered Nurse of almost 20 years, with the last 5 being in the Case Management world.  It has been challenging to say the least, but extremely rewarding and a memorable taste bud experience to my career.  I love Case Management because it is the casserole of the healthcare system.  I foresee my career continuing in the area for years to come, so I can gradually build my index card box full of recipes for success to make the perfect Case Management “casserole.”   

Now, I will have to go buy some fresh squash and make my famous Cheesy Squash casserole for supper tonight.

Amie Walker, RN, CCMGuest post from Amie Walker, RN, CCM, submitted as part of our “Why I Love Case Management” and selected as our First Place Winner!

My name is Amie Walker. I live in West Tennessee. I have been a registered nurse for almost 20 years with the last 5 years in the case management area.