Case management is a primary service for homeless individuals and families. Case management is defined as a range of services to assist individuals in developing their skills to gain access to needed medical, behavioral health, housing, employment, social, educational, and other services essential to meeting basic human services. Individuals and families who are homeless or in danger of homelessness are the primary clients of case managers. A household’s risk of becoming homeless is assessed by a case manager, who then decides what help is necessary to reduce that risk (Lukersmith et al., 2016). They help patients learn how to take charge of their own lives, encourage them to engage in therapy, and serve as a conduit between clients and their professional and social networks. Successful case management requires the expertise and familiarity with the local area that only a native can provide.
As challenging as it may be, helping homeless people and their families can be pretty gratifying. Troubleshooting customers is a tough job. Charity workers dealing with the homeless may suffer feelings of helplessness, frustration, and rage during their work. There’s sometimes friction between being energized by one’s job and becoming down on oneself about circumstances beyond one’s control. Providers must prioritize their health to give their patients or customers the best treatment possible. The government should hire enough case managers to ease their workload and stress. This paper will discuss the difficulties encountered by case managers and suggestions for overcoming them.
The work of a case manager is often very demanding. Like many others in the helping professions, this occupation has a high turnover rate due to burnout. There are many different reasons why people decide to quit the human services industry. It’s possible to start on a career path only to realize later that it wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes the nature of a person’s work has shifted to the point where it’s no longer satisfying. The mental and emotional strain caused by the shifts has made a career in this area untenable for some people. is\\ unfortunately the future of case management. Some workers in the human services industry are abandoning their positions as case managers to pursue new careers. Factors outside of the control of management contribute to the high turnover and high levels of employee dissatisfaction that plague case management departments.
There are many causes of burnout, but perhaps none more so than unreasonable and unrealistic expectations. As time has progressed, so too have caseloads and responsibilities. Some case managers have more than 50 clients, yet they are still required to provide the same level of service as they did when their caseloads were smaller. More forms are needed, and more information must be documented, than ever before. The bulk of these new obligations has led to little or just a small bump in pay or other benefits. One may work in Human Services, yet high standards of performance are often demanded of those in that profession. You’re asking for burnout if you do this.
Excessive documentation is the second most common cause of burnout in my opinion. Completing reports, whether they be progress reports, quarterly reports, treatment plans, or any of several other types, may be time-consuming. One stressed-out case manager is the product of multiplying the number of clients they have to keep track of by each of these forms (anything from 35 to 50). It would appear that at least one new form is added to the documentation each year. It’s already difficult to keep up with everything, and now there are more rules and standards to follow. One cannot stress the importance of having complete and accurate records (Yeo et al., 2021). Clinical management, justification for interventions and costs, and legal immunity are all aided by a Case Manager’s meticulous documentation.
A lot of people who work in human services, such as case managers, feel underappreciated a lot of the time. Unfortunately, occasionally a few mistakes might overwhelm their efforts. Workers in the human services sector receive little recognition for their efforts and a lot of criticism when things go wrong. Case managers and social workers are often unfairly depicted in a bad light by the media. One bad apple may spoil the reputation of a whole department, as everyone knows from experience. Case managers are seldom praised for their achievements and aggressively criticized for any shortcomings, even inside the agency. It’s common for case managers to feel that they can’t win everyone over no matter what they do.
Pay is also a factor in case manager burnout, despite the fact that financial reward is not a primary motivation for entering this field. Case managers’ pay is disproportionate to the amount of work they put in. There has been no discussion of increasing remuneration or reimbursement for case management services despite the fact that case managers have been subjected to increased paperwork and constraints in general and in the area of intellectual disability case management in particular in recent years (SAMHSA, 2022). Although case managers’ pay is relatively low compared to that of other roles in the human services sector, the growing quantity of work and scrutiny is becoming excessive and driving individuals away from the industry.
Case management only works when everyone involved works together. Multiple people or even teams may need to work on the issue to have it resolved. The lack of adaptability and coordination that comes with manual case management systems is one of its major drawbacks. When people use different workspace systems, collaboration essentially ceases to exist. Assigning tasks to others may be challenging to manage, and last-minute requests can cause unexpected delays and reshuffling of priorities. In delicate and stressful situations, case managers have a responsibility to keep their clients or stakeholders updated on the case’s status. This is an issue with manual methods due to the complexity, which makes it hard to know who is responsible for what (Kiss flow, 2021). Case managers may be unable to gauge advancement or provide an estimated resolution date because of a lack of transparency. Also, this might significantly affect the customer’s overall impression of the company.
In situations like this, time is of the utmost importance. Several people or groups could be occupied with a single process step at once. Case managers need to be able to delegate tasks with ease and close cases quickly. No amount of manual labor or flimsy implements could ever hope to achieve this. Not being able to talk about it just makes things worse. Factors that contribute to time management issues that may affect the outcome of the case include: redundant tasks, inadequate action, inefficient data collection, and a lack of process structure.
The truth is that no one is perfect. The more work they have to do by hand, the more room for error there is. Manual tools make it more challenging to produce accurate documentation, as writers are more likely to make changes that result in many versions of the same document, which can lead to confusion (Joo & Huber, 2017). It is easy for case managers to accidentally swap data, leading to inconsistencies or useless information. This data may not only be counterproductive to finding a solution, but also to making decisions or seeing patterns.
The ability to quickly retrieve relevant data is essential for efficient case management. Managers of individual cases must also set the scene and respond swiftly in response to the information they have. Using manual methods results in information and data being stored in separate silos. Therefore, it is incredibly challenging for case managers to acquire, evaluate, and derive relevant insights without consulting several sources and gathering data. It’s inconvenient to begin with, but it also lengthens and complicates the process more than it needs to.
Data and other assets must be protected at all costs, as they are the lifeblood of every business. Case managers often deal with very private and sensitive client data. In the event of a security breach, not only may the integrity of the entire project be at risk, but so could the trustworthiness of the business. As you can see, this might have a detrimental impact on the company and lead to a drop in earnings. There are no data filters available to manual tools. No mechanism exists to secure data or provide access only to those who need it, according to their specific job functions.
Each firm has its own special characteristics. The company’s processes and procedures are distinct from those of other businesses; thus, some leeway is required. Depending on the company’s case management style, there may be varying requirements. Case management solutions that are managed manually are not flexible enough to be adapted to a specific business. Features, resources, or the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances may be inaccessible due to improper configuration. Expenses in running the business might skyrocket as a result of this.
Some suggestions are made to help case managers deal with the difficulties they face on the job. When experiencing burnout, many people look to temporary solutions, such as taking time off. While this may provide some relief, it is usually just temporary. In addition, it is important to choose strategies that will have a longer-lasting influence on the target population. Failure to adequately manage short-term stress might lead to exhaustion. This is why it is so important for case managers to develop effective coping mechanisms for stress. One can deal with stress in several ways. To keep tabs on the triggers of their anxiety, one person I know keeps a “stress journal.” When feeling anxious, it might be helpful to practice deep breathing, meditation, or other relaxation techniques. Stressful thoughts can also be managed by case managers. By keeping track of one’s thoughts and engaging in positive thinking, one may change unhelpful behaviors and manage emotions in trying situations.
A case manager who is always swamped with work may start to feel like they’re running in place, with little hope of ever getting ahead. It’s demoralizing and annoying, and it usually leads to burnout. You may find out what is expected of you and what isn’t by conducting a job analysis. This instrument will help them prioritize their work by identifying the most important tasks and eliminating or delegating the rest. It’s important to talk to your boss in private if you feel like they’re overloading you with work. If one’s excessive workload is producing burnout, that fact should be communicated to one’s supervisor. Get some back-up plans set up in case assigning certain tasks or projects to a certain person doesn’t work out. Learning to manage one’s expectations and conflicting priorities may also make life easier.
Case managers should take care of themselves by scheduling frequent medical checks. Many case managers have witnessed that job stress causes health problems. Stress has been shown to damage the immune system, leading to an increase in ailments such as colds, flu, high blood pressure, and so on. When one thinks about burnout, the expression “take care of yourself so you can take care of others” comes to mind (Fraser et al., 2018). One gets so involved with making sure everyone else is all right that they forget about themselves. Aside from regular checkups, eating a healthy diet and doing more exercise might help one feel better overall.
Addressing the issue of inefficient dialogue Case managers must always be open to new ways of communicating with their colleagues. With these ground rules in place, conversations should always have the same tone. However, the implications are far broader than that. Consistent channels, vehicles, and people are essential for effective business communication. Just enough variety to keep them guessing without overwhelming them with options. Employees need to know whom to turn to for updates and when to expect changes or important announcements (PowerDMS, 2020). Thus, the case management team should realize that missing even one team meeting or email would cause them to lag behind. To achieve this goal, consistent dialogue is required, not just a single effort. If leaders only communicate with their staff at times of crisis or major transition, employees will learn to dread hearing from them at all.
If the case manager has too many activities to do and not enough time to complete them, he or she may consider prioritizing the to-do list and removing chores that have no practical implications if left undone (Realis Media, 2014). One might also consider assigning work to other members of their team that they trust. One should also rest when one needs to and can, if possible. Establish a consistent sleep pattern to guarantee appropriate rest at night, and contact a specialist if one suspect medically related sleep issues. Consider incorporating breaks throughout the day to recharge. That is the polar opposite of when aiming for a secure environment. Instead, people should be accustomed to hearing what’s going on and receiving notice when change is imminent.
Case Managers assist their patients in understanding their alternatives to the unique scenario they are facing at the time. They serve as intermediaries between patients and their treatment or care alternatives. Case managers’ work entails a lot of problems that are solvable if there is cooperation with the involved stakeholders. Case management in the homeless service population field should be funded well by the government. Despite all the difficulties that come with this work case managers play a very important role in society and it will be a pleasure to always serve others.
Fraser, K. D., Garland Baird, L., Labonte, S., O’Rourke, H., & Punjani, N. S. (2018). Case Manager Work and Workload: Uncovering a Wicked Problem—A Secondary Analysis Using Interpretive Description. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 31(2), 83–91. https://doi.org/10.1177/1084822318803099
Joo, J. Y., & Huber, D. L. (2017). Barriers in Case Managers’ Roles: A Qualitative Systematic Review. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 40(10), 1522–1542. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193945917728689
Kissflow. (2021, January 17). Top 7 Issues with Manual Case Management | Kissflow Workflow. Kissflow.com. https://kissflow.com/workflow/case/manual-case-management-issues/#ineffective
Lukersmith, S., Millington, M., & Salvador-Carulla, L. (2016). What is Case Management? A Scoping and Mapping Review. International Journal of Integrated Care, 16(4), 2. https://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.2477
PowerDMS. (2020, December 22). 13 Ways to Fix Poor Communication in the Workplace. Www.powerdms.com. https://www.powerdms.com/policy-learning-center/13-ways-to-fix-poor-communication-in-the-workplace
Realis Media. (2014, August 1). Time Management for Case Managers — So Much Work, So Little Time |…. Relias Media | Online Continuing Medical Education | Relias Media – Continuing Medical Education Publishing. https://www.reliasmedia.com/articles/16693-time-management-for-case-managers-8212-so-much-work-so-little-time
SAMHSA. (2022, April 22). Self-care for Providers. Www.samhsa.gov. https://www.samhsa.gov/homelessness-programs-resources/hpr-resources/self-care
Yeo, G. T. S., Kannan, P., Lee, E. S., & Smith, H. E. (2021). Community case managers’ challenges collaborating with primary care when managing complex patients in the community: A qualitative study in Singapore. Health & Social Care in the Community. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13489