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By Kristen A. Stine, MSOD, Learning and Diffusion Manager

Early in March, nine Care Managers from across the Kansas City metro attended our first “Care Manager Training: Solutions. Strategies. Success” session in Lenexa, Kansas. We spent two and one-half days engaging in learning activities focused on defining the role, integrating into the existing care team, and establishing care management processes. Following the event, attendees reported feeling more confident about establishing the role and processes within their practice. However, another running theme came to light during the activities; prior to the training, each Care Manager felt alone in struggling to define their role.

This struggle to define the role of the Care Manager is the most common challenge we hear from Care Managers. Practices and health systems instinctively know this role is crucial to achieving quadruple aim outcomes, but it can be difficult to establish and maintain boundaries to keep Care Managers focused on those outcomes. This is especially true for Care Managers who previously held nursing roles in the practice or who work in understaffed environments. It’s very tempting to have that individual help out “just this once” on tasks that help the practice but distract from care management duties.

While we can’t solve staffing issues, we can identify questions to help prioritize the work. We recommend beginning with the end in mind, what outcomes is the Care Manager responsible for achieving? Which patients is the Care Manager to work with? Is the focus on health outcomes or coordination of care? With these questions in mind, attendees of the training spend time mapping out a Care Manager “scorecard” to track and monitor activities toward achieving those goals. While not complete, we encourage attendees to continue the development of this scorecard back in their practice with the help of leadership, physicians, and the care team.

HealthTeamWorks® has a long-standing history as a healthcare transformation organization but true sustainable transformation often requires new skills and competencies for the team members involved. Our Workforce Development team is continually developing and refining training programs focused on role-based competencies and common challenges associated with transformational change. Until now, these trainings have been mostly offered in the Denver area.

In 2018, we are expanding to Kansas City, Omaha, Nebraska, and Newark, Delaware with a total of six more sessions of Care Manager Training available. Our next session is scheduled for May 22 – 24 in Denver, but for additional dates check our Care Manager Training page.

If the dates and locations don’t work for your team and you have a number of Care Managers to send through the training, contact our Solutions Specialist, Priscilla Gascon about a custom training.