Case management is a well-established way of integrating services around the complex needs of people with long-term conditions. It is a targeted, community-based and pro-active approach that identifies individuals at high risk of hospital admission, assesses their needs, produces a personal care plan, and ensures co-ordination of that plan.
However, evidence to date suggests that case management is not always implemented in a cost-effective way or to the benefit of patients and carers.
Case Management: What it is and how it can best be implemented examines how this key strategy can improve delivery of integrated care for people with long-term conditions. The authors explore the questions:
What is case management?
What are the core components of a case management programme?
What are the benefits of case management when it is implemented effectively?
What factors need to be in place for successful case management?
For those implementing and delivering case management programmes, the paper outlines those core components that are required if they are to be successful.
Case Management: What it is and how it can best be implemented concludes that case management programmes have significant potential to deliver both better care for patients and cost savings. However, to do so they must be well designed, involve appropriate and professionally trained case managers and care teams and be embedded in a wider system that supports and values integrated and co-ordinated care.
Nick Goodwin introduces the key findings of our paper, Case management: What it is and how it can best be implemented, examining the benefits and barriers of this approach to care for people living with long-term conditions. He considers the practical implications of case management with examples from the United States, and sets it in the context of delivering an integrated care system in the NHS.