5 Things Every Case Coordinator Should Know

  • Know the Objective
  • Focus on the Patient
  • Maintain Balance
  • Be a Strong Advocate
  • Evaluate Thoroughly

Case coordinators (also known as case managers) are a vital aspect of many social services programs, and every case coordinator should know what is expected of them. They are often the key liaison between individuals within the system and the organization providing services to those individuals. As such, they require a keen grasp of the individual’s needs and an acute understanding of precisely what the organization can realistically provide.

Know the Objective

The primary objective that every case coordinator should know is they are there for the patient. They should ensure maximum patient satisfaction whenever possible. One of the best ways to accomplish that would be by optimizing the ability of the patient to perform as much self-care as is possible. The more the patient is able to handle on their own, the less the patient has to rely upon services provided by an organization.

Focus on the Patient

Case coordinators know the primary focus of their job is upon the patient. They work to provide a plan where much of the focus is on the patient and not on the organization. This requires an acute understanding of the rules and regulations of the organization, as well as a degree of diplomacy, which is useful when navigating different options available to the patient. By focusing on the patient while remaining aware of the limitations of the organization they are dealing with, the best course of action can be presented to both the client and the organization.

Maintain Balance

An important thing for every case coordinator or manager to know is that they must maintain balance between their personal and their professional lives. Being a case coordinator means a great deal of emotional energy is used throughout the process and sometimes, it’s difficult to “leave it at the office.” While having empathy for the patient is of paramount importance, the coordinator needs to remember to maintain a distance.

Be a Strong Advocate

Every case coordinator knows the importance of being an advocate. Many patients and clients find themselves caught in a system they don’t fully understand and it can lead to feeling lost and confused and adrift. When a case manager comes along that really endeavors to help the client, it can mean the world to them. Even when a result might not be what is desired, when a client understands the case manager has worked on their behalf, they can be very appreciative. Having said that, however, as noted by an article from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not every client will actually even express gratitude for what the case coordinator has done.

Evaluate Thoroughly

Case coordinators know the importance of properly evaluating any particular situation with a patient or client. Evaluation means more than simply skimming the surface facts of any given case. It sometimes requires in-depth research into background history, in order to determine the best way to proceed with any given option. Case coordinators are usually also skilled in “reading people” and are able to determine when a client is being untruthful or evasive, and acting accordingly.

Related Resource: The Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs

Being a case coordinator can be tremendously challenging and difficult, but knowing that people are actually being helped in a difficult time can be its own reward. Every case coordinator knows the profession chosen might not be the easiest one available to them, but for many, it is the only path they could have taken.