The use of nurse case managers has been done extensively at different levels of care. Carondelet Saint Mary’s Hospital located in Arizona had a project that exemplified the role of a nurse case manager, especially in acute care. In this project, nurse case managers formed partnerships with high-risk patients in acute care. Through these partnerships, the nurse case managers help to reduce the length of stay in hospital. Through collaborations with the physicians in acute care, nurse case managers help reduce the number of clinical services, the number of be days and the length of stay (Cox, 2010).
The roles and functions of a nurse case manager in the acute care setting were clearly defined in the project by the New England Medical Hospital, where nurse care manager assumed a coordinator role in the delivery of continuing care in different geographical care units. Nurse case managers also function as patient educators where they explain the treatment options available to the patient and the family, as well as the impact of these treatment options and the requirements in terms of resources (Finkelman, 2011).
Nurse case managers’ roles and functions also transcend acute care units to encompass home care. As highlighted by Finkelman (2011), nurse case managers help assist in ensuring continuing care for the patients. Finkelman (2011) points out that nurse case managers have a role to ensure that patients can access community services and get managed care at home after they are discharged from hospitals. Through this role of the nurse case manager, the patients who are readmitted after discharge have less acuity. additionally, the nurse case manager functions in ensuring that the patient achieves the planned outcomes, especially when some of the interventions are carried outside the hospital set up in a home set up by offering constant follow up and consultation in order to evaluate progress. As triage coordinators, nurse case managers may offer home visits to patients with major problems in order to assess, plan and implement appropriate interventions (Finkelman, 2011).
In primary care institutions, the functions of a nurse case manager include the provided liaison where they interact with primary care institutions in order to address any administrative issues facing the patients. The nurse case manager also functions as a benefits interpreter where the nurse case manager explains the plan requirements and the procedures for insurance plans. The nurse case manager plays an important role in outcomes management where they provide the link between primary care institutions hence easing the tracking of patient information and the management of outcomes (Finkelman, 2011).
Cox, C. (2010). A guide for nurse case managers. New York: iUniverse.
Finkelman, A. (2011). Case management for nurses. Upper Saddle River. Pearson Education Inc.