Q&A: Recognize weak case management models
Q. What is the weakest/worst-case scenario for the structure of a case management department?
A. The weakest structure for hospital case management, representing a “perfect storm” of several difficult situations at once, is the following:
- No director and a manager buried (organizationally) under a director of an obscure department that has been “given” case management during a restructure for downsizing.
- Case managers who report to unit nurse managers with a dotted line to the manager of case management. (This structure does not provide the hospital with the central, knowledgeable engine it needs to drive goals. In addition, nurse managers cannot focus on case management, and the case managers are often pulled into staffing.)
- No social workers anywhere in the hospital, except perhaps in maternity/pediatrics.
For more information, see Case Management Models: Best Practices for Health Systems and ACOs, Second Edition.