Care Managers Enhance Patient Care

Care managers coordinate and manage health care delivery to patients with serious health issues. They work in hospitals, physician offices, skilled nursing facilities or in the home.

Their focus is to coordinate services within the complex health care system. Today, care managers are viewed as the critical piece to improving health outcomes for those with chronic disease and coordinating patient care. Depending on their role, care managers can be licensed nurses or social workers.

At Meritus Health, care managers coordinate patient care inside and outside of the hospital.

In the hospital, care managers work with physicians to coordinate follow-up tests, outpatient services, doctor appointments, medications, transportation and home nursing needs. They lead multidisciplinary patient care rounds to identify treatment goals and assist with patient education. The inpatient care management team also includes care management and clerical assistants who support the work of care managers.

In Meritus Medical Center’s emergency department, care managers educate patients on preventing and managing diseases. For frequent users of the emergency department, care managers design care plans to improve patient health and reduce emergency room visits. They identify primary care physicians for patients, find community resources, arrange outpatient services and make follow-up physician appointments for patients discharged from the emergency department.

In physician offices, care managers help patients with chronic health conditions understand their current health status and coordinate resources necessary to help them manage their condition. They work alongside physicians, nurses, behavioral health social workers, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and diabetic educators.

In the home setting, care managers develop a care plan and coordinate preventative and rehabilitative therapies. They involve the patient and family in establishing goals and provide ongoing health care instruction and monitoring.

“I love when patients call me not only for medical issues, but to confide in me,” says Dara Phillips, RN. “Being an outpatient care manager is an amazing experience and by far the most rewarding role I have had in my career.”

There are so many stories of how care managers think outside of the box to improve the lives of our patients. Watch this video to see how care managers in the emergency department helped a patient live independently.