BY JOSE ALEJANDRO, PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, FACHE, FAAN
Have you ever had one of those days where everything went right? We all seem to have a unique ability to recognize and talk about what is not going well, but how much time do we devote to celebrating success? Isn’t it more important and uplifting to acknowledge what has gone right? From a systems perspective, leaders should find ways of recognizing, replicating and reinforcing what is exceptionally good. Facilitating conversations about the difference we make will further engage individuals in improving care. Let’s change our mental models to look at the positive before dwelling on the negative.
As professionals and leaders, we have an ethical responsibility to be role models and mentors. Sharing our professional knowledge, emotional intelligence and common sense can help our mentees develop fulfilling careers. We need to consistently find opportunities to connect theory to practice, and practice to passion. Taking the time to assist a colleague and to see him or her develop professionally is one of the most rewarding aspects of our professional careers.
Case management professionals have a unique opportunity of connecting the pieces of a transforming healthcare environment. Our keen abilities of creating consumer pathways across the continuum of care make us a valuable resource to the organizations we work at, the community partners we collaborate with and the consumers we provide care to. We navigate, build pathways and guide.
To thrive within healthcare, we need to effectively demonstrate and communicate how we provide value to our stakeholders. Many of my conversations are centered on how case managers are a value-add to an organization versus an expense. Our profession assists an organization in driving exceptional results in patient experience, staff engagement, clinical outcomes and financial results. We need to continue telling our compelling story to a greater stakeholder audience. There is a strong business case that we make a difference!
There is nothing routine about the role of a professional case manager. That is what excites me the most! Each day, we are advocates for consumer-centered care within a population health model. Our unique skillset helps build bridges between transitions of care within our complex healthcare delivery system. We help stakeholders see the linkage between social determinants and the health of the communities we provide care for. Each day, we develop system innovations that improve the care provided to our diverse, vulnerable and at-risk populations.
I am truly honored and privileged to start my term as CMSA president in the midst of the changing healthcare environment. I look forward to meeting and speaking with you in order to learn more about your perspectives and how CMSA can add value by providing resources to further develop your professional career. Best wishes as we continue our invigorating journey of providing and supporting exceptional care! ■
Jose Alejandro, PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, ACM, FACHE, FAAN, is the Director of Case Management at at UC Irvine Health, Orange County’s only Level 4 Trauma and Burn Center. Dr. Alejandro is the CMSA President as of June 2018.
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