Technology has been a hot topic in recent discussions around case management practice.  How one embraces technology has ranged from necessary adaption to “let’s do more”.  I have heard lamentations of “Zoomed Out” (no disparagement to Zoom company intended) to “virtual has allowed me to connect with more people, more often”.

Where do you land on the spectrum?  I would love to hear your thoughts as we transition to a post-pandemic environment.

Two recent programs inspired provocative thought around this topic.  CMSA had the fortunate opportunity to participate in an international symposium that featured Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the US.  We described case management practice in the midst of the pandemic in our various countries.  There were many similarities, especially in the challenges and barriers to care for older adults and complex cases.  We discussed the use of technology in case management and the likelihood of sustaining some of the technologically-supported interventions post pandemic.

Case managers utilized virtual platforms to interact with patients.  But it was not without its challenges.  The availability of internet service, affordability of computers, smart phones or other devices, and the client’s ability to operate the systems varied significantly.  The question of the day…should we invest more in technology to improve virtual interactions?  Or, should we enhance public health safety procedures and return to in-person visits exclusively, without forcing technology?

Thoughts to Ponder:

  • Clients, especially older adults need in-person interaction to combat social isolation, loneliness
  • In-person engagement facilitates establishment of trust, rapport, culturally-appropriate interaction
  • Virtual visits are efficient, safe, cost-effective when internet service and e-devices are available
  • Follow-up evaluations, use of monitoring devices, timeliness of specialty consults can be increased

To Be (Virtual) or Not to Be…What Say You?