Managing remote nurse case managers can be a daunting responsibility. Individuals who are successful as remote case managers are highly independent and can often be strong willed. A manager who focuses on direct control of their activities may find them hard to manage. However, there are a few tactics and key tips that can help make you more successful in managing these dynamic and valuable individuals. Empowering these nurses with smartphones, positive motivation, and clearly defined guidelines and standards will go a long way in ensuring that patient care is delivered in an appropriate and efficient manner.
Encourage Autonomy and Accountability
Nurses who get into home care and remote case management often do so because they work extremely well independently. This behavior should be encouraged with guidelines and standards. Nurses who work in the field should be empowered to make decisions within defined guidelines and standards that are clearly communicated to them and easily available to reference at a later date. Home care nurses have to make decisions on the fly and will rely on the training and tools that are provided to them. Every nurse is an individual and therefore will require attention to their specific needs and desires while on the job. But most case managers will be more successful if you empower them with technologies that are helpful, motivate them with rewards, and make their job requirements clear.
Get Smart about Mobile Devices
One of the best ways to foster independent and competent patient care by a remote nurse case manager is to provide them with technologies that aid in the delivery of patient care. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are a class of technology you should be investing in to improve the care that your field staff delivers. This includes accessibility to instant and secure communications via HIPAA compliant app or other means, quick access to digital copies of agency policies and procedures, and access to thousands of medical and nursing apps. Not only does it make life for the nurses easier, it also helps to ensure that field staff stays on track.
Make Them Part of a Team
Once you’ve got your nurse case managers connected via technology, the next step is to look for ways to get them to build collaborative relationships. Lucky for you technology offers many tools to help make this possible including chats, webinars, and digital workspaces like DataCare’s Ahshay platform. Just because these nurses don’t work side-by-side all day long doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t benefit from a team atmosphere with ample opportunities to collaborate.
Being connected digitally is fantastic, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for rubbing elbows every now and then. Holiday potlucks and parties are an excellent way to help remote nurse case managers come together face-to-face to build relationships. These friendly and professional relationships are the basis for trust and collaborative teamwork. If nurse case managers trust each other then they will often work together to solve their own problems without the need for supervisor involvement. This is better for the both the nurses and the business.