Updated on 16/10/2023
Case management is a coordinated effort between community-based, often nonprofit, organizations that work to provide quality healthcare solutions that are customized to a client’s specific and individual needs. This healthcare approach is designed to be customized to the client to best address unique needs on the client’s timeline.
In addition to traditional health services, successful case management can also aid with employment searches, transportation solutions, and community involvement. This collaborative process involves assessment, planning, plan implementation, and evaluation to successfully achieve the client’s desired outcome.
There are four basic levels involved with case management – intake, needs assessment, service planning, and monitoring and evaluating – which will be analyzed here. It is important to note that while these levels are numbered one through four for this discussion, they are not necessarily linear. Case management levels can be revisited as needed depending on how well the case manager and client are navigating their plan.
Now let’s elaborate one by one on the four stages of case management.
The first level of case management, intake, is the foundation for all other steps that follow. In this step, as much information as possible is gathered to create an accurate picture of the client’s current situation and present problem. This information is provided by the client and at this stage, the client’s needs are made expressly clear.
Let’s dive in a bit more on what happens in this stage of case management.
One of the common difficulties with intake is getting enough of the right amount of information to understand how to move forward with a needs assessment. No two clients are the same, and one with a history of a mental health disorder will need different intake questions than one with substance abuse issues.
Case management software allows for customized intake forms, so a case manager can create different questions based on the problems understood about the client even before intake. This also allows for all this information to be stored online for easy reference for the next stage of the case management process.
The information that is gathered at the first level, Intake, begins to organize and take form in level two – needs assessment. Here, the case manager assesses all of the information at their disposal and develops an understanding with the client about their needs and goals and what the road may look like to achieve them. Here are some case management steps taken at this level:
Data-driven decisions are a key factor in a needs assessment, yet the information needed may not be readily available. Case management software keeps all the analytics from each client in one place. This allows case managers to look to real-time data to see how needs assessments were handled in the past and which services led to success for various needs.
In level three, very specific tasks and objectives are identified that will help the client move toward their goal. A case management service plan is put together by the case manager that takes into account all of the information that was gathered in levels one and two. The plan is often subject to input from the client’s support system and their other health providers. The steps involved in creating an effective case management service plan include:
Communication is key with service planning, and clients must be properly informed of case management services scheduled and expected goals within their case. A client portal in case management software simplifies service planning by allowing for streamlined communication between non-profits and clients. Services can be scheduled directly in the system, and clients can choose the times to meet with their case managers that are most convenient for them.
The fourth level of case management is to evaluate the efficacy of the plan, monitor milestones, and make sure that the client’s specific needs are being met by the case manager and the organization. The plan and metrics that were put into place in level three serve as the guides for monitoring and evaluating.
It’s not simply enough to set up the services, case managers need solutions to easily track how services are going and restructure goals as needed. Case management software includes customizable case boards with columns covering each goal area. This makes it easy for case managers to make changes, check the status of a service, and see the overall picture of client case management.
Today’s case managers have a wealth of tools at their disposal for effective case management. As we discussed earlier, managing the specific needs of multiple clients and keeping their plans, personal data, and notes organized and secure are basic expectations of the role.
Case management software simplifies the four-step process discussed, giving case managers more time to spend focusing on their clients. PlanStreet’s case management software guides case managers through every step of the process in the case management lifecycle, with
PlanStreet automates workflows and processes, integrating data with existing systems with customizable dashboards so the information the case manager needs is readily available. Skip the time-consuming paperwork and book a demo to learn how PlanStreet’s case management software can be tailored to meet your organization’s needs.
These four levels, when fleshed out and seen through to completion, are a roadmap to success for case managers. While each client’s specific needs and goals are unique to them, these levels and processes can be applied to every client. When combined with an empathetic case manager and a solid case management software tool, success is inevitable