By Dr. Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM

How do we go from being the best-kept secret in all of healthcare? We do it through outcomes, data and telling the story of the impact of the practice of case management across the care continuum! Otherwise known as “dissemination”.

In August, I wrote a blog titled “Shout It from the Mountaintop” in which I stated that “Case Management is one of the most effective solutions in health care and must become an integral part of the medical management system. Moreover, our consumers, end users (patients, families, caregivers), need to know what we do, and how we can help them.” (Morley, 2022)

I recently had the honor of attending the commencement activities at the Northern Kentucky University School of Nursing. During the DNP hooding ceremony, the graduates were introduced and the titles of their DNP projects were included in this introduction. By my evaluation, fully 1/2 of the projects had a case management, care coordination or population health focus.

Topics for these projects included:

  • Reducing readmissions through primary care-focused interventions
  • Improving cervical cancer screening rates
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of scheduled care to reduce mental health readmissions
  • Evaluating clinical staff help literacy knowledge in a family practice clinic
  • Interdisciplinary collaboratives to increase inpatient discharges before noon
  • Social health needs assessment and community resource program project at a medically underserved clinical site
  • Improving length of stay in readmissions in post-open heart patients
  • Evaluation of chronic pain management with chiropractic services
  • Telephonic intervention impact on heart failure-related readmissions
  • Improving depression screening and follow-up in an outpatient setting through the implementation of evidence-based protocols
  • Telehealth versus inpatient treatment: Does it have a greater impact on anxiety?

I took the opportunity to approach each individual graduate at the reception following the Hooding Ceremony to discuss with them the opportunity of having their work published. Most were incredibly shocked that they were being approached for this purpose. Even though a dissemination plan is part of the requirement of their project, it didn’t really seem to be a possibility to these graduates. These phenomenal projects, their outcomes and the potential for changing practice seemed doomed to languish in a drawer or in a folder on a computer screen. Is it any wonder why case management is the best-kept secret in all of health care? Let’s face it; we are horrible at “tooting our own horn”. But if we want to move our profession/specialty forward, we need to make opportunities to communicate what makes us integral and necessary in healthcare.

Opportunities Abound

CMSA has an excellent magazine called CMSA Today where members of the case management community can submit their work for publication. There are professional journals dedicated to the practice of case management including Professional Case Management and CareManagement. And keep in mind that dissemination does not have to be in a written format. As you will see at our upcoming conference in June of 2023; excellence in case management practice will be showcased in live presentations, panel discussions and poster presentations.

So, what about you? What's your story? What have you been doing at your place of business to drive process improvements and better outcomes for our populations? And is it going sit in a drawer or are you going shout it from the mountaintop and change the world?


Have you demonstrated improved case management processes that resulted in improved patient outcomes? Have you demonstrated advancements in the case management practice? Get recognized! Apply for a CMSA Foundation Award at

Winners receive a cash award, and article in CMSA Today, a blog on, a webinar for CMSA members, recognition at the CMSA Annual Conference and the opportunity to provide a case study resource for case managers. Applications are due March 30th!


Bio: Dr. Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM, is the Associate Chief Clinical Operations Officer, Care Continuum for University of Illinois Health System and the current President of the Case Management Society of America National Board of Directors.  She has held positions in acute care as Director of Case Management at several acute care facilities and managed care entities in Illinois, overseeing Utilization Review, Case Management and Social Services for over 14 years; piloting quality improvement initiatives focused on readmission reduction, care coordination through better communication and population health management. Her current passion is in the area of improving health literacy. She is the recipient of the CMSA Foundation Practice Improvement Award (2020) and ANA Illinois Practice Improvement Award (2020) for her work in this area. Dr. Morley also received the AAMCN Managed Care Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 and the CMSA Fellow of Case Management designation in 2022. Her 1st book, “A Practical Guide to Acute Care Case Management”, published by Blue Bayou Press was released in February 2022. Dr. Morley has over 20 years of nursing experience. Her clinical specialties include Med/Surg, Oncology and Pediatric Nursing.  She received her ADN at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL; BSN at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL, MSN from Norwich University in Northfield, VT and her DNP at Chamberlain College of Nursing.

Morley, C. (August 1, 2022). Shout It from the Mountaintop.