When you are preparing to leave the hospital with your child your primary goal is to keep your child happy and healthy at home. You have spent hours and hours learning new skills, hoping you are fully prepared to become your child’s primary caregiver. The last thing you want to do is spend unnecessary and frustrating time searching for services, phone numbers and websites to find something you need for your child. Before you leave the hospital, give yourself the gift of a strong professional relationship with your pediatric case manager at the hospital. Case managers who use their experience and knowledge of health care management are invaluable in assisting you to obtain all the community services and resources you will need. Your transition process to home will calm any fears and give you more self-confidence if you and your case manager partner to make sure everything is ready and organized.
Here is a list of the ways a good pediatric case manager can help you.
Pediatric case managers…
- Are usually experienced nurses, or social workers, who use evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to develop your child’s unique plan of care.
- Are skilled multitaskers – they are able to prioritized goals in the midst of many demands.
- Are dedicated patient advocates and they encourage patients and families to be as independent as possible. They advocate for your home care needs to other providers and insurance companies.
- Are intuitive educators for the patients and families.
- Seem to have more professional contacts than anyone else in the hospital. Make sure to ask them what they know about resources in your community.
- Desire the best for you and work hard to make sure you have the services and equipment you need so that you will have fewer hospitalizations and emergencies in the future.
- Are committed to maximizing your child’s health while achieving cost efficiency.
Pediatric case managers, however, do not travel down a one-way street. They need YOU to openly communicate your needs in order to assist you in making your “new” life at home a manageable, rewarding experience. One sure-fire way to accomplish this is to achieve maximum organization. While not all people are organized by nature, most parents of medically-complex children become organized by necessity. Nature? Necessity? Who cares? What matters is that you have a convenient system to quickly locate resources without becoming overwhelmed. If you keep all of your child’s important information in one place you will be surprised by how much time you save.