What Are the Qualities of a Good Case Manager?
by XSOLIS Insights, on Apr 3, 2018 6:00:00 AM
There are specific qualities that top performers in the case management role share, beyond having generally good case management skills.
7 Habits of Highly Effective Case Managers
We’ve all seen them on our teams and within our organizations, across our careers. Who are they? The colleagues and leaders with the enthusiasm, energy, and expertise that propels their teams to success.
What makes a good case manager? What sets these case managers apart? Which traits are universal among the most highly effective case managers?
Let’s look at some habits that set a great health system or clinic case manager apart from the rest.
1. Highly effective case managers listen well
One key habit separates highly effective clinical nurse case managers and all other case managers: the ability to listen fully. This is one of the pillars of consistent case management effectiveness.
By listening to learn, they absorb not only what is being said, but the body language cues and the subtext of the conversation that lead to greater empathy. They engage more fully with those around them and gain a keener understanding of the role of communication within their organizations.
Listening also plays a pivotal role in the type of relationships that form the foundation for strong, adaptive teams.
2. Highly effective case managers truly care about others
Highly effective case managers share a common passion: others.
Whether helping patients, co-workers, or other staff, case managers are constantly kind, committed, and aware of the impact they have on those around them. Their enthusiasm is infectious, their positive attitudes are contagious, and their empathy is always evident.
Consistently caring about others is more than simply a clinical case manager duty or task. It’s a key need for sustainable success and positive results, for patients, staff, the facility, and the manager themselves.
3. Highly effective case managers learn and grow constantly
Wondering how to be a good nurse case manager? An appetite for growth and development is a great place to start. Learning never stops for highly effective case managers.
Whether reading about new industry standards and best practices or learning about changes in regulations that will impact their organizations, they have a natural desire for forward movement. The best case managers learn, grow, expand, and lead by example.
Whether by prioritizing through a specific piece of technology or a to-do list, they optimize their time and effort to ensure that they achieve their daily, weekly, or quarterly objectives. They also look to streamline the demands on their time. Any time saved from paperwork and administrative details gives them a greater opportunity to utilize their clinical expertise.
4. Highly effective case managers build relationships that further their goals
Highly effective case managers realize that their colleagues and leaders offer a unique opportunity for personal growth.
Whether by becoming a mentor for another, taking on a mentor, or forming partnerships and collaborating with others, they realize that they can’t do everything alone. So, exceptional case managers take steps to build foundational relationships with those around them.
5. Highly effective case managers use data and technology to support their teams
Highly effective case managers realize that technology can make their lives easier and less frantic. It can also help ensure they can focus on what matters.
The indispensable case manager also looks to data as a resource, not a burden – especially when that data is relevant and timely.
When interfacing with physician advisors, other staff members or clinical leadership, they let data do the talking. They balance their expertise with support from objective sources. That’s a key characteristic of case management that supports better outcomes for all stakeholders.
6. Highly effective case managers draw inspiration from others
The highly effective case manager looks across their hospital for examples of effective culture, leadership and collaboration. Then, they bring these lessons back to their own team. Flexibility and adaptability may not appear in a job description or a list of clinical case manager requirements, but it's helpful for them to be able to apply lessons to better their teams and the organization at large.
Even beyond their four walls, they look to others in the industry for best practices and ideas. They might strike up relationships with other leaders, interface through conferences and events, or engage with associations. They value the input of peers, subordinates, and leaders.
7. Highly effective case managers don’t settle for the status quo
The hallmark trait highly effective case managers share is their refusal to settle for anything less than the best.
They take every opportunity to improve themselves and others, while constantly looking to expand their impact within their organization. These case managers adopt new leadership responsibilities, nurture the capabilities of those they work with, and question why certain things must be done that way.
They don’t take no for an answer and don’t settle – in life, or on the job.