Rehabilitation Case Managers seem to be under constant scrutiny from Solicitors and Insurers questioning their motives, capabilities and benefits. Yet if the right Rehabilitation Case Manager has been chosen in the first place, these issues should never arise.
Many third parties don’t fully understand the role of the rehabilitation case manager, nor do they know what they need to consider before choosing the most appropriate one. They end up agreeing to the wrong person, then get frustrated when they fail to get the desired outcome. There are different types of case manager each with a different speciality and experience – getting the right one can make all the difference.
When looking for a Rehabilitation Case Manager, third parties need to remember that whilst all rehabilitation case managers are registered health professionals, who can be checked on their specific health register, they have not all qualified in the same field and have all been trained to take on a different role in a person’s recovery even though they all have the same long term goal which is to promote well being.
For example, a ward nurses’s role is to assess the person holistically and facilitate a recovery by ensuring they are getting the care, support and treatment they need. They co-ordinate the multi-disciplinary team, and manage the patient’s recovery so that the individual is able to get better and can be discharged. An Occupational Therapist has been trained to help someone regain their functional independence. An example would be, if an individual was having problems getting in and out of the bath after an amputation, the O.T. would assess the persons capability and provide appropriate aids and adaptations to ensure their safety. Whereas a physiotherapist has been trained to look at someone’s physical well being, so they tend to focus more on anatomical movement and function.
Whilst there are different types of health professionals, like in insurance and law, once qualified, each health professional tends to specialise further into an area of expertise. For example a nurse may choose to specialise in trauma and orthopaedics, (musculoskeletal injuries) whilst another may choose neurology (spinal and head injuries), so whilst they both have had the same basic training their knowledge and experience is different.
In the UK, once any health professional qualifies, they tend to work in the NHS for a few years focusing on the development of their technical skills. In the NHS funding is dealt with by managers, so it is never their primary concern. For example, if a patient needs a bandage, a nurse will take one from the cupboard, rather than considering whether they could get one equally as good, or even better at the local chemist, for half the price. Yet in a commercial setting finances are paramount, particularly in case management, as the budget being spent belongs to someone else.
A good case manager should have an understanding of the commercial aspects of the industry and ideally have undergone some training from an insurer or a solicitor, to help them to understand the litigation process and their need to be independent.
There are rehabilitation case managers who have been practising in the UK for several years, so at this stage of their career, they should be able to produce evidence of their value to the client, their representative and the insurer. Whilst newer rehabilitation case managers may not have sufficient evidence to justify their value, they should be able to demonstrate evidence of reflective practice, good mentoring and potential future outcomes.
Things to consider when choosing a rehabilitation case manager
1. Have you picked the most appropriate health professional?
2. Do they have the right experience to manage the injuries/ illness?
3. Has the rehabilitation case manager got commercial experience?
4. Is the rehabilitation case manager able to produce evidence of successful past outcomes?
5. Can a less experienced rehabilitation case manager show evidence of training, understanding, good mentoring and potential outcomes?
If all these questions are taken into consideration, when choosing a rehabilitation case manager , providing everyone else in the process is performing their role correctly, there is no reason why the desired outcome for each party shouldn’t be achieved.
In some instances the roles of the health professional may overlap, so choosing the right case manager may not be as straight forward, In these situations, the third party shouldn’t be afraid to ask for guidance and recommendations.
If you are trying to find a suitable case manager or would like any more information on what to look for, please contact Helen on 0151 336 7155 and I will be more than happy to assist.