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Conference Schedule
Title: The What, The How, The Why of Improving Professional Practice
Date / Time: Friday, June 22, 2012 at 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Sponsor(s): -
Speaker(s): Cynthia Kollauf; Mary M. Streff
The achievement of successful outcomes in the evolving health care environment requires the expertise of astute case managers. Historically, case managers have advanced their practice through experience, mentoring, continuing education, self-reflection, and peer review. Identifying effective venues for professional development in case management has been ill-defined in the literature. Supporting growth is particularly challenging in the unique and autonomous role of community-based case managers (CBCM).

As part of annual strategic planning, a group of experienced, advanced-practice CBCMs sought to develop a more comprehensive process for practice improvement. Grounding concepts included: continual professional growth, incorporating an authentic peer review process, unveiling and capitalizing on a rich knowledge base of an experienced group of advanced practitioners, and enhancing the utility of department-specific tools.

A three-pronged approach to practice development was created from those premises. First, based on practice standards, a process for an annual joint visit with a peer was developed to provide substantive feedback. Second, each practitioner wrote a narrative describing a patient encounter to share with the case management group. The narrative process encourages reflection on practice behaviors. Finally, a collaborative caseload review was designed to provide peer feedback on case progression, care plan review, case closure plans, and caseload acuity and balance. Existing and new department tools were used as part of these new processes.

Staff feedback over the last nine months has affirmed the value and effectiveness of the new plan in promoting professional practice development in a seasoned and highly independent CBCM team.