Why Communication is Essential for Acute Care Case Managers
It’s hard to find a healthcare concentration that requires as much communication as acute care case management. Patients with all types of medical conditions are under supervision by several care providers, all who must work cohesively to provide them with the best possible outcomes. Because of the fast-paced nature of case management in all types of healthcare settings, it’s paramount that acute care case managers know how to communicate effectively with medical teams, patients and families.
As an acute care case manager, here are some of the reasons why strong communication is essential:
Collaboration. Case managers must collaborate with a variety of people to determine the best course of care for all the patients they treat. This involves ongoing discussions with patients’ many caregivers regarding diagnosis, treatment plans and any steps required for the patient to reach optimal recovery and function. Collaboration is always aimed at achieving the best outcomes for patients and must be done in a way that’s holistic and comprehensive so no issue or concern is overlooked throughout the care process.
Maximizing technology. As electronic health record systems evolve, case managers must know how to effectively use the latest technology to communicate patient information. Using electronic portals is now integral in the communication process, as case managers are expected to maximize this technology to improve care coordination and implement fluid exchange of information among medical teams. Case managers’ ability to effectively communicate via technology platforms ultimately enhances patients’ experiences and allows for more efficient and cost-effective care.
Empathy. Exhibiting a true understanding of what patients and families are going through is one of the most underrated communication skills in case management. Case managers must address families’ concerns about their loved ones in a way that’s both empathic and professional, as this allows patients to navigate the treatment process with better support and guidance.
With the right effort, the communication skills above can be developed over time. Acute care case managers who consistently work on their communication skills will ultimately improve the trajectory of their careers, as well as the lives of their patients.
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