Case Management in the Age of Covid
Since our founding in 1989, RCC has specialized in hands-on Case Management. It has been what separates us from other providers, even in the 20th century. We decided from our founding that being an advocate and care manager required face to face contact. There are certain movements and gestures that communicate far more than words, and those are crucial to meet the patient’s best possible outcome. This helped make our company as effective as it has been for the past thirty years and why so many of our clients have stayed with us for over a decade.
And then the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world.
The CoronaVirus changed everything, not just now but for the foreseeable future. Our business, like others, must look at our old operating procedure and alter it for the safety of our patients and employees. We went to a virtual office with the vast majority of employees working remotely and the few remaining in office practicing social distancing.
How does that work long term with a company dedicated to hands on case management? It means we double down on our values.
Some of our work can be done remotely; patients are still being discharged from hospitals and we help facilitate that. RCC is still organizing supplies & medication to be sent to their home. We can still apply for benefits for our clients – the government hasn’t stopped processing those. We still work with the patient and family to find attendant care options that meet their needs of everyone.
However, our patients must still attend appointments, virtual and in-person. These can be for checkups with specialists, appointments to review lab work and x-rays, fittings for new prosthetics or equipment like wheelchairs or therapy appointments for continued development. The patient must attend those, and we must be there to advocate and support them and so we make it happen.
Like every business we are utilizing software like Zoom, Skype, Facetime and Doxy to attend appointments. It allows our case managers to read the patients and to determine what is being said non verbally. We work with the provider to utilize their medical tele appointment software, which can lead to long conversations with the patient and their family to overcome technical difficulties. It’s not perfect but it is what the situation requires. When completed our case managers provide follow ups to the family and patient to make sure everything was concluded to their satisfaction. However, there are some visits that can’t happen over a camera, appointments where the patient must be in the room as the doctor. While few and far in between there are some appointments you just have to put on your PPE and attend.
All of the abovementioned and its effectiveness comes down to is the connection with the patient and their family. It’s the connection built after time working with them and showing that you have their interest at heart. That it is your focus to help them get to their best possible outcome. That can only come from a hands-on relationship with your patient, before and during the Coronavirus pandemic.