Care managers help families navigate their child’s health care journey
October 11-17 is National Case Management Week. At Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California, we recognize and appreciate case managers, who are referred to here as care managers. Their support and advocacy for patients and families extends far beyond the walls of the hospital.
Today’s complex health care system often leads to stress for patient families, caused by many factors. These families need guidance and reassurance along the way. Here, the role of the care manager is to help families successfully navigate their child’s health care journey.
“Care managers are the glue that hold it all together as patients and their families journey through the complex care we provide here,” said Director of Patient Care Services Kanoe Allen. “They are the single touch point to coordinate care, schedule surgery, and support their transition from home to hospital and back home again. Care managers shine in helping to make a scary and complicated journey as smooth as possible.”
Care managers help coordinate various elements of patient care to make the best possible use of available resources. This may include managing transportation arrangements, medical equipment and supplies, medications, transition assistance, therapy services and appointment coordination. Care managers work closely with the multidisciplinary teams in coordinating the plan of care including communicating and planning treatment with referring pediatricians and specialists, school nurses and therapists.
There are approximately 14 care managers at the Northern California Shriners Hospital. They are registered nurses and social workers who use their clinical and professional skills to improve patient care and provide support for families. Many have received certification, a proud mark of distinction for their practice knowledge, from the American Case Management Association.
While all health care professionals have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, care managers have stepped up to ensure patients and families continue to be well-informed about their care during these uncertain times by organizing essential health appointments and interventions.
“It is my honor to be a member of the care management team here. We work collaboratively with every department in our excellent hospital to provide the best medical and surgical treatment for the children and families we are privileged to care for and we know how to have fun as well,” said care manager Leanne Wong, RN. “Care Management has a four year record as champions of the Halloween costume contest at Shriners Northern California! Every day I am inspired by the children and families we care for and I am proud to be a part of their journey.”