The Implementation for Case Managers
From initial conversations to exploring individual technology support options, the team (providers, families, self advocates, and case managers) has worked diligently and thoughtfully to build a plan that focuses on the needs and wishes of the individual supported—both their safety and security as well as desired lifestyle goals.
Now that the technology supports have been assessed and agreed upon, it is time to physically put the solutions in place and move forward with their utilization.
Whether over the course of a few hours or days, case managers, along with families and self-advocates, should pay close attention as technology supports are being set up in the home to ensure all are aware of the location of the supports in place. Case managers may be helpful here as families and self-advocates ask questions, express any remaining concerns, and may help individuals communicate their needs.
Once setup has occurred, training can begin to ensure families and self-advocates understand how the technology is being used and what actions need to be taken on a day-to-day basis or in an emergency situation. The case manager’s job is to make sure the care plan is being followed and ensure they are there as a safety outlet for the self-advocate and their family members if things are not working satisfactorily.
Case managers may be the first ones to receive a call from families/self-advocates if something is not working as expected. By being involved in the training process as much as possible, case managers will be able to hear what questions the families/self-advocates are asking and be better equipped to respond to concerns or feelings of unease about the process.
Whether going live means phasing in technology supports or “flipping the switch” on all supports at once, it is important to realize that things might not all work perfectly at first and to communicate that with families and self-advocates early and often. There will be an adjustment period and a learning curve as everyone gets used to the new processes.
Having the technology in place does not mean that the individual is on their own. There is always someone to reach out to. Backups and fail safes are in place to get answers to questions or raise any concerns. If the technology is not working satisfactorily, do not panic. Troubleshooting resources will be available if you are not able to get in touch with a vendor when needed.
Ensuring a care profile is in place will help case managers, along with families and self-advocates, find any needed answers.
Following the go-live phase, testing and revisions of the technology supports will continue as needed. The case manager’s role is to ensure the support plan is up-to-date by reviewing details on a quarterly basis. Changes may not happen often, but there may be a recommendation to implement additional supports or to remove supports from the initial plan as the adjustment period may bring to light habits that were not previously known. Utilizing technology has the benefit of tracking patterns in behaviors or habits that might uncover an underlying issue or an opportunity for increased self-sufficiency.
Below are a few examples to be aware of and to share with families and self-advocates when discussing the testing and revision phase and how it relates to modifying care plans to better support the unique needs of the individual.
A group of men who had just implemented technology supports in their home got hungry late one night and ordered a pizza. As they opened the door for the delivery person, a response plan was triggered due to a front door sensor being activated when the men were typically sleeping.
As habits are formed and as individuals adjust to the new supports in place, scenarios like this will lessen dramatically.
During implementation, sensors were placed under a favorite chair and bed for a gentleman being supported by one provider. The purpose was to give some information that he was home and going through his routine; and if he was not, a staff member would be notified. Not too long after go-live, the provider kept getting communication that the gentleman was not spending any time in his bed and was missing work. They identified that he was uncomfortable sleeping in his bed and was sleeping on the floor. Through this learning process, they also found an underlying health condition. The technology put in place that was being used for one purpose (ensuring his routine) produced data that could be used for another (identifying a medical issue).
If you have additional question about Implementation, ask one of our Mentors.
Then, learn to assess outcomes and identify opportunities.