In this new era of patient safety, the case manager, as an advocate and facilitator of care, has a pivotal role on the front line of healthcare delivery. Effective communication and collaboration between disciplines is key to the promotion of patient safety, and ultimately the avoidance of life-threatening medical errors. Across the healthcare continuum and within hospitals in particular, patients are routinely transferred from one service to another, from one level of care to another, or from one provider to another. As patients are stabilized and transitioned through the hospital system, there are multiple hand-offs of care or care transitions that can often expose the patient to fragmented service and increase the risk of communication breakdown. Ineffective hand-offs can result in a disruption of continuity between one level of care and the next. In a culture that places a strong emphasis on patient safety, case managers can facilitate opportunities that ease care transitions whereby a change in venue is no longer perceived as a disruption in the flow of care but rather is viewed as a coordinated changeover where cautious and comprehensive communication sets the tone for the continued delivery of safe and effective healthcare.
Dana Deravin Carr, RNC, CCM, MPH, MS, is the principal Care Manager for Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation and the Stroke Team at Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, NY. Ms. Carr brings to the field of case management a diverse clinical and administrative background, which includes home health and long-term care.
Address correspondence to Dana Deravin Carr, RNC, CCM, MPH, MS, Jacobi Medical Center, Care Management Department–2 South 3, 1400 Pelham Pkwy South, Bronx, NY 10461 (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
The author has no conflict of interest.