Case management is a collaborative process, following public health principles, that coordinates an individual's medical needs over an entire episode of illness or response process. Case management includes a range of activities specific to the needs of the individual and the needs of the community.
According to Public Health Interventions - Applications for Public Health Nursing Practice (PDF), developed by the Minnesota Department of Health in 2001, case management is characterized by its:
- Focus on development of the self-care capabilities of communities, systems, individuals, and families
- Promotion of the efficient use of resources
- Stimulation of the creation of new services where needed
- Assurance of quality care along a continuum of service delivery
- Decrease in the fragmentation of care across settings
- Enhancement of clients' quality of life
- Cost containment
With disease case management, you have two patients - the community and the patient you are working with. Your job is to quickly interrupt the disease transmission and engage and retain the patient in care.
If performed in a timely manner, case management provides an effective framework for the public health nurse to stop the spread of disease.
Role of Health Departments
Disease case management is a preferred strategy for infectious diseases to ensure diagnosed individuals are able to get optimal care, as well as to stop the spread of the disease.
Regardless of the disease, case management includes steps such as assessment, assurance and planning.
The components of the case management process include:
- Case identification
- Case investigation
- Engagement and retention of care
- Case management completion
Each will be described on the following pages.
Remember, for some infectious diseases, case management by the LBOH is required under Massachusetts regulations.
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