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Lessons on learning from CMSA

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Posted on June 25th, 2018 by Teri Dreher, under Healthcare Reform, Inspiring Stories, Medical Planning, Patient Advocacy, Something New

Lessons on learning from CMSA

Last week another NShore advocate, Sarah Valek, and myself had the opportunity to attend the Case Management Society of America’s national conference in downtown Chicago. What an amazing event made possible by an amazing group of people. We left feeling encouraged, enlightened, and with lessons that will stick with us forever. From these industry experts, here is a list of lessons learned and takeaways we can’t help but share. 

Human connection is still key

While this lesson isn’t entirely new, it was reinforced tenfold last week. As we connected with humans ourselves, we heard story after story about providers and care managers wishing they had more time to spend with patients and clients. So much of our medical professions demand task-orientation; never ending checklists of what needs to be completed and counted for. Task-orientation may be necessary, but so is relationship building. Studies show across that board that human connection leads to better health outcomes, plain and simple.

Specialties are abundant, but tapping into them is difficult

Case Management is a big field. From nurses, to social workers, independent case managers and hospital staff, CMSA exists to bring people together to help others out. No matter the health condition, there is a specialty out there that can help. Other types of specialties are being formed as well, just like private patient advocates, who specialize in coordinating care in the mess that is modern day U.S. healthcare. The problem is, many people don’t know about niche groups. As RN advocates, we’re a bit of a specialty ourselves. And while private RN advocacy is gaining traction as an emerging industry, many people still don’t know about us.

There are still barriers to keeping the patient at the center of the care model

Members join this group for many reasons, but one we all seem to have in common is finding better ways to serve patients in our country. While I learned several new ways to do this (one of which will be my next point), what I also learned was that people are having a hard time advocating for their patients while maintaining company allegiance and hospital regulation compliance. Our solution, of course, is to work for private pay to make sure allegiance can stay with the patient. Still, that can make our services costly – too costly for some. Access to quality care is one of the biggest issues facing our healthcare landscape today. Policy makers don’t seem to be too close to fixing the problem, so case managers have to do their best to protect their patients within the guidelines of those in charge.

Motivational interviewing can be a game changer when it comes to changing hard set habits

One of my favorite parts of the conference was learning about motivational interviewing from Dr. Bruce Berger. As we all know, behavior change is hard, for patients and for ourselves alike. Motivational interviewing holds the potential to help people find the motivation already inside themselves by asking a series of pointed questions informed by listening to what a patient has to say to make a change. It’s a practice I’m definitely going to try to use going forward.

The CMSA 2018 conference was amazing. I encourage any medical professional to check out the group and consider becoming a member. It’s a decision you won’t regret!

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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