what are the stages of case management

In this guide you’ll get the 7 stages to successful case management. These include:

  1. Engagement
  2. Assessment
  3. Planning
  4. Implementation
  5. Monitoring
  6. Review and Analysis
  7. Conclusion

Case management can be a mysterious industry to those on the outside.

I want to break down these barriers and clear the confusion that lies around our profession.

That’s why I created this super easy guide to guide you through the exact process.

Let’s begin…


1. Engagement

I begin this journey with the first engagement with my client. They may feel nervous, anxious or scared about this first step to rehabilitation, so I need to be cautious.

Via telephone or email, I reach out to the client and introduce myself…

“Good morning, how are you? My name is Linsey, and I’m here to guide you through rehabilitation. We’re going to take things one step at a time, so for now I’d just like to know a little bit more about you…”

In this initial meeting I ask the right questions, but don’t delve too far. I identify what they need help with and establish some of their goals.

You could think of it as a screening process, to ensure the client has been appropriately referred. In this first conversation I can detect whether the client is in need of my services, or if they would be better suited to another professional.

My notepad receives some heavy usage as I write down these valuable details. I begin to paint a picture of where this client has been, where they are now and what they’ll need in the future.

If I decide that they are in need of my services and I can provide the correct support, we arrange the first face to face meeting…

2. Assessment

I meet my client face to face to gain more vital information.

It could be in their home or at a medical facility, wherever they’re most comfortable.

A full assessment is performed to closely analyse the extent of their injury. If it is a physical injury, I may use physical tools and aids to gauge pain and symptoms.

If the client has suffered a brain injury, there are many examinations I can guide them through to gain a more thorough understanding.

Once the assessment has concluded, conversation turns to what they’d like to achieve in the future.

Short-term goals, long-term goals, strengths and weaknesses are all discussed to get a clearer insight into the person. Alongside studying their medical history, I get an accurate perception of their physical and mental health.

During this assessment I may also speak to family and friends. This will help me gain more details and further examine the situation in much closer detail.

The more information I have, and the more detailed it is, the more tailored the care plan can be. The more tailored the care plan is, the more successful it will be.

Of course, throughout the various assessments I take plenty of notes for when I create the care plan…


3. Planning

You remember all those notes I’ve been taking?

Now is the time to look back through them and remind myself of every little detail. I create reports and put the feedback from the client into professional documents.

I pick out the strengths and weaknesses that they outlined and turn these into goals and milestones. I pin point each issue they are facing and find a solution to overcome it.

Every option for their rehabilitation is explored to find the best route to recovery. A good case manager plays to the client’s strengths and removes barriers to diminish weaknesses.

I plan risk assessments to see where potential problems could arise. I work to prevent them from happening as well as creating procedures for if they were to happen.

Once I’ve covered all bases, a timeline should start to form that displays the client’s journey through rehabilitation.

I’ll consult other case managers and medical professionals throughout the planning process. This is essential to gain more perspective on the plan, other opinions and their expertise.

A care plan is never finished, and I know that it will be fine-tuned throughout the process to meet the clients changing needs.

Now I’m happy with the initial plan, it’s time to share my ideas…


4. Implementation

The plan comes to life and the client begins rehabilitation.

Everyone’s journey is so different that it’s difficult to summarise what happens in a ‘typical’ rehabilitation plan.

It may start with treatment, such as:

  • Neuropsychology
  • Speech therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy

Alongside these treatments the client may take part in counselling or start a new course of medication.

As a case manager, I’m there every step of the way. I work closely with the client, family members and medical professionals involved in the process.

This is vital to not only offer support, but also to make sure the plan is always on the right track.

My involvement may include attending doctor appointments, supporting with therapy sessions, practicing administration of medication or aiding with financial planning.

Read our What is Case Management? page to learn more about what we do.

Throughout the implementation of the plan I will provide the correct referrals and collaborate with other professionals to deliver the right care.

These aren’t my only responsibilities during this important time…


5. Monitoring

I spend so much time carefully planning the rehabilitation plan, and it is just as important to spend lots of time closely monitoring it.

This involves ensuring the plan is following the appropriate timeline and adjusting appointments/ treatments if it isn’t on schedule.

I also regularly check in with my client to see how they feel about how the plan is going. It’s important I get their feedback so I can adjust accordingly. For example, they may feel setback by certain obstacles, so it’s my job to create solutions so that they can overcome them.

I may have to plan alternative routes during rehabilitation, which could be for many reasons. The client may not feel the treatment is beneficial or it might not be best suited to their way of working.

Injuries are unique so there is no ‘one size fits all’. I learn so much about the client during this process and I get to find out exactly what works for them to get the best results.

It is also important to ask the client if they feel that they are meeting their goals. From their answer we can discuss the next steps to continue progressing or find opportunities for improvement.

Assessing goals is also a big part of the next step in the journey…


6. Review and Analysis

In my job I spend a lot of time looking forward, to see what results we can achieve in the future. But, it’s also important to look into the past during a care plan.

With my client we look back to the beginning of their journey. We analyse the position they were in and compare it to the fantastic progress they have made so far.

We look back to discuss which goals and milestones have been reached, and how the client feels about their journey. It is often powerful and moving to see the immense progress a client has made after sustaining a serious injury.

Once we’ve reviewed the journey so far, we start implementing the next stages of the plan.

The client will gain more independence in their life. I’ll support them in possibly returning to their profession, education or everyday life.

I’ll talk in depth with the client and family members to explain what happens next and how the plan will continue with less involvement from me.

I’ll also re-assure them that I’m still here to offer support…


7. Conclusion

Rehabilitation may come to end, but the support from me doesn’t.

I guide the client through the steps they can take to gain more independence. This might involve adjustments in the work environment, installing mobility aids for the home or arranging long term counselling.

I ensure the client and their family have the required resources and materials to continue with their recovery journey.

I also take great joy in checking in with the client over the next few months and years to hear their achievements and continuous progression.


Does case management sound like the career for you? Take a look at our Case Manager Opportunities to find out more.

Or, do you require case management services? Read our Case Management Referrals page for expert advice.

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