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5 Arguments for Virtual Case Management at Alexander Youth Network

February 7, 2019  |  Comments Off on 5 Arguments for Virtual Case Management at Alexander Youth Network

Alexander Youth Network Manages Behavioral Health Services – Before, During, and After Treatment.

Alexander Youth Network is unique in that it offers an integrated behavioral service model for children and families. Through our model, we are able to provide children and their families a variety of services without having to transfer them or their families to another agency.

Children maintain relationships and don’t get lost in a complicated system. A system that is hard to navigate for children and families is often hard for case managers as well. Over the past year, Alexander has been adapting its case management to effectively meet the needs of staff and our families.

1. Be Virtual and 2. Be Decentralized

The new case management structure allows treatment staff to create management teams while children are in services. Case managers are embedded in each service program and are supported by additional administrative staff.

We operate 11 offices and over 30 programs across the state of North Carolina all of which are supported by a decentralized Access staff. Through this model, staff share responsibilities regarding intake, treatment updates, and through recovery post discharge.

Access staff training on new electronic management system

Staff are able to spend more time focused on children and the families we serve than managing paperwork.

While we are only a few months into the transition, we have already seen drastic changes on our campuses. Through an extensive realignment of responsibilities and roles along with training sessions to provide education on our programs, we have been able to create a more efficient model to serve our kids.

Why we argue for virtual case management:

1. Cross collaboration – Having a virtual program allows staff to manage cases without being onsite. This is a great feature for staff who may be in-ratio or tasked with other administrative duties/ responsibilities. Creating a virtual management team also fosters discussion about success (for kids) and innovations across the Alexander Network. Our ONE Access team can meet on or offline to handle the needs of all of our locations providing support to different programs and staff members.

2. Smaller Case Loads – Our case managers are embedded into each program that they work with. Case managers are able to tailor their resources to the program they work with and able to focus on each child’s integration into that program. This provides them with expertise in their clinical cases. The short-term management associated with a child’s time in a certain program allows Access staff to react appropriately and timely to issues that may arise. They have fewer cases to manage, less paperwork, and more time to effectively manage a child’s treatment.

3. Shared Case Notes – All managers are trained to utilize one access program for notes and child updates. As a child transfers through services they will pass along major notes and information. Through our comprehensive service array, children are able to receive a full spectrum of therapy treatment services. Through our model of care, kids don’t get lost in the system outside of Alexander and neither does important information regarding their diagnosis, treatment, or recovery.

4. Redefines admissions process (and treatment) – The new structure has allowed case managers to spend more time on families seeking treatment. Managers are able to send a variety of follow-ups (2-3 usually per family) to match kids with the appropriate treatment program. Access staff are able to leverage other case managers to find appropriate programs and services to support the admissions process.

5. Less wait time – The time of contact to the time of admissions has decreased 40% across the AYN network of services. Case managers are aware of all programs and services and are able to utilize this information to place children where they need to be. The admissions process has become personalized by reaching out to families and time sensitive.

A future for virtual case management.

At Alexander, we are continually looking for ways to improve the patient experience within the agency. In doing so, we found that we also have to improve the staff experience. Virtual case management will continue to be a hot topic for our Performance Improvement team, primarily in finding ways to expand outreach post-treatment and follow up with families. The current success of virtual management has allowed us to expand our staff and engage families for services when necessary. Most importantly we have found a way to effectively manage our children’s cases without burdening our support and administrative staff.


Written by Emily Gordon.

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