ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - Nurse Care Manager Katie Lashway and Highland Family Medicine Medical Director Colleen Fogarty discussed the role of nurse care management in a primary care setting Thursday on News 8 at Sunrise.
"The functions really falls into three topics," said Lashway. "There's Transitional Care Management, Population Health Care Management and Complex Care Management."
Transitional Care Management covers transitions of care, so patients going from one level of care to another. "A patient going from the hospital, back to the community, or a patient going from the community to a nursing home," explained Lashway.
Population Health Care Management is working with a patient to perhaps get a list of patients who are due for cancer screenings. "Well patients who are over the age of fifty and are due to colonoscopies, or perhaps patients who have a chronic disease," Lashway said. "It's working with them to make sure they getting all of the recommended screenings and taking care of their conditions."
Complex Care Management is patients who have a variety of illnesses, and are just overwhelmed with their care. "It's working with them to kind of help manage the health care system," said Lashway.
Dr. Fogarty said working with Nurse Care Managers can make a positive difference for patients. "In any of the situations that Katie described, particularly patients with complex and multiple health conditions, Nurse Care Managers can be a really important partner for the patients and the clinician," she said. "They can help with medication teaching, reinforcing recommendations, helping a patient make happen what the physician and nurse practitioner suggests. They can come into the exam room, and help be a second voice for the patient if the patient is forgetting something."
Education is an important component for anyone considering a career as a Nurse Care Manager. "Typically, the Nurse Care Manager has a background in nursing, so they have a nursing degree," noted Lashway. "They have experience. It can either be experience in nurse care coordinating in the hospital, or perhaps in the community setting. There's on-the-job training. There could be training through grants, such as the one offered through the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, or there are some computer programs that offer some training. It's kind of training that is specific to the office you're working in."