Best Practices | Case Management | Nonprofit Technology
Best Practices | Case Management | Nonprofit Technology
Case management is a collaborative process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet a client’s health and human services needs.
At its core, case management is about transforming lives through individualized care and services to help clients meet their goals. In this guide, we’ll use industry best practices to break down the key components and core principles of the case management process. Let’s get started!
A successful case management process consists of four core components: intake, needs assessment, service planning, and monitoring and evaluation.
Let’s look at why these techniques are so essential to an effective case management practice. We’ll also explore how they can be incorporated into a comprehensive case management system to collect data, track client success, foster organizational change, increase funding, and accelerate impact.
Intake is the initial meeting between a case manager and a new client. During this time, the case manager will gather demographic information about the client, identify immediate needs, establish trust, and build a relationship. Case managers should collect information from clients on:
Intake is helpful for a case manager to determine if a client would benefit from the services their organization offers. If the client is a good fit, the case manager will then move on to assessing the client’s individual needs. If the client’s needs misalign with the organization’s service area, the case manager works to refer the client to an outside community resource.
How to level-up your case management intake process: As you intake new clients, use your case management software solution to collect and organize all the information you need to create complete client profiles.
Needs assessment builds on the information collected during the intake stage, going into greater depth on the client’s challenges and goals. During this stage, a case manager’s primary objective is to identify a client’s problems, interests, and risks to success. While every client goes through this stage when they first come to an organization, it’s important to reassess over time as needs and circumstances often change.
How to level-up your case management needs assessment process: With a comprehensive case management software, leverage pre-made evidence-based forms or create your own assessment tools to gauge client needs and accurately assign services.
In the service planning stage, a case manager establishes goals for clients and the actions that will be taken to meet those goals. Generally, goals should include specific outputs and outcomes as well as the metrics that can be used to assess a client’s success.
As a result of this goal-setting process, case managers will draft a case management plan that outlines the monitoring, supervision, and activities of a client alongside a clear timeline.
How to level-up your case management service planning process: Organize client information and case plans based on the programs and services a client has been assigned. As your client’s needs change, use your software to quickly update their records across services.
Monitoring and evaluation is critical to understanding the impact specific programs and services have on a client. A case manager should continuously monitor and evaluate a client’s progress via the output and outcome metrics defined in the service planning stage.
How to level-up your case management monitoring and evaluation process: Continuously monitor results to achieve long-term outcomes. With built-in forms and reports, a comprehensive case management system can help you measure and manage client success with the push of a button.
Ultimately, human service organizations of all sizes require the correct practice of these four components to ensure continued client success.
At the heart of every case management process are four core principles. When implemented properly, these principles help protect clients and patients and make your services and interventions more impactful:
By intentionally implementing these best practices, you can ensure the success of your entire community.
Ultimately, case management is not a linear, straightforward process, but instead a cyclical, iterative one. In many cases, as you monitor and regularly evaluate clients, you’ll find that you need to re-assess needs and plan new services to best meet their evolving circumstances.
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