Case management has recently been advanced as a valuable component in achieving quality patient care that is also cost-effective. At St. Michael's Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, case managers from a variety of professional backgrounds are central to a new care initiative – Rapid Assessment and Planning to Inform Disposition (RAPID) – in the General Internal Medicine (GIM) Unit that is designed to improve patient care and reconcile high emergency department volumes through "smart bed spacing." Involved in both planning and RAPID, GIM's case managers are the link between patient care and utilization management. These stewards of finite resources strive to make the best use of dollars spent while maintaining a commitment to quality care. Collaborating closely with physicians and others across the hospital, GIM's case managers have been instrumental in bringing about significant improvements in care coordination, utilization management and process redesign.
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