Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Case Managers

December 26, 2012

When it's time to check out of the hospital, healthcare providers want to make sure you have all the resources you need.

Whether you've delivered a baby or had joint replacement surgery, every patient on each floor is assigned a case manager. Chris Camblos, Director of Case Management, and her team are there to help patients and families enter the next phase of care.

"We advocate for the patient as well as the hospital."

A case manager can either be a nurse or social worker.

In person or over the phone, they're responsible for providing information about being discharged from the hospital and helping patients determine if they should return home, be transferred to an assisted living facility or get a home health aide.

"It's pretty intimidating for the families lots of times," says Camblos. "They come in things have changed in their life and they don't know what they're going to be facing when they go home and they don't know what they're needs are going to be."

While many patients will have no risk factors and be given the okay to return home, some may need some assistance. And having a case manager can help with that transition.

"So we meet with families and patient and try to work out. Investigate what they're home living situation is like. Do they have stairs to manage? Do they need grab bars in the bathroom? Do they need medical equipment? Do they need walkers?"

If any of those risk factors are identified then a case manager can make those arrangements for the patient to ensure they continue receiving the proper medical care, even after checking out of the hospital.

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