Structure as care manager role needs

Care managers need some stuff in order to do their job. Here is a list of what we think most care managers need, however, needs will vary.

Care manager office space

When care managers are provided their own office space in the practice, they are able to meet with patients, families and caregivers without utilizing exam rooms. Face‐to‐face visits with patients can take up to an hour and therefore, having an office or access to a small conference room will not disrupt the provider’s workflow or tie up an exam room.


Phone line

When care managers are provided their own direct phone line, patients are able to contact the care manager without having to
call the main practice number, be placed on hold and/or get lost in the shuffle. If the care manager is not available, then the patient is able to leave a voicemail message for the care manager. Care managers often encourage patients to call them when questions/concerns arise. Some even distribute their business cards indicating that the door’s always open if the patient needs anything.


Headset

There are days when a care manager may spend a majority of the  time on the telephone conducting care transition/follow‐up or care coordination calls for example. Wearing a headset allows for the care manager to easily navigate the patient’s EMR and type notes while speaking with the patient or care providers.

EMR access/user privileges

When care managers have access to the practice’s EMR, they are  able to view the patient’s health history, test results, medications and other important information as well as document the care manager‐patient visit. We have learned that certain
communication tools within EMRs are often used by care managers, providers and staff to efficiently and effectively communicate with one another (e.g., instant messaging, notes)

EMR tools/templates

Care managers may need to have tools/templates developed within the EMR to support care management work. These tools may include templates for documenting patient care plans and self management goals and a mechanism for scheduling follow-up appointments and tracking patient progress.

Internet

Care managers with access to the internet are able to research community-based, regional, statewide, or national resources. They
may also research diagnoses and medications to allow them to better care for the patients.

Structure as care manager network

Since many care managers are the only one with that role in the practice, it is important that they have the opportunity to network with other care managers. This can be accomplished by creating a forum that allows for best practice sharing and peer support.