What Are the Qualities of a Good Case Manager?

7 Habits of Highly Effective Case Managers

We’ve all seen them on our teams, within our organizations, across our careers – the colleagues and leaders with the enthusiasm, energy, and expertise that propels their teams to success. What sets these case managers apart? Which traits are universal among the most highly effective case managers? The answers aren’t as complicated as you might think:

Highly effective case managers listen well

One key habit separates highly effective case managers: the ability to listen fully. By listening to learn, they absorb not only what is being said, but the body language cues and the subtext of the conversation that give them 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.

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, they 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.

Highly effective case managers learn and grow constantly

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 – learning, growing, expanding and leading 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.

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 and takes steps to build foundational relationships with those around them.

Highly effective case managers use data and technology to support their teams

Highly effective case managers realize that technology can make their lives easier, less frantic, and help ensure they are able to 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 and balances their expertise with support from objective sources.

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, and brings these lessons back to their own team. They realize that they can learn and adapt lessons from others into their own teams, for the betterment of all. And even beyond their four walls, they look to others in the industry for best practices and ideas – whether by striking up relationships with other leaders, interfacing through conferences and events, or engaging with associations, they value the input of peers, subordinates, and leaders.

And finally…

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 ideal. They take every opportunity to improve themselves and others, while constantly looking to expand their impact within their organization. Whether by adopting new leadership responsibilities, nurturing the capabilities of those they work with, or questioning why things must be done that way, they don’t take no for an answer and don’t settle – in life, or on the job.