Screening Tools for Case Management of Medical Patients

The field of medical case management began to evolve starting from the 1970s. In the 1980s, case managers started to use holistic case management techniques and preventive measures to manage cases. The Case Management Society of America developed guidelines to describe the process of case management in 1995. Screening tools for case management of medical patients range from questionnaires and tests to checklists and programs.

Questionnaires

Questionnaires seeking firsthand input from the patients are one basis for case management of medical patients. One such questionnaire is the Mood Disorder Questionnaire, which was developed by a team of psychiatrists, researchers and consumer advocates to screen for bipolar disorder. The screening tool provides insights into diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. The healthcare professional administers the patient the questionnaire and then scores it to determine if the patient needs treatment for bipolar disorder, based on responses to the questions.

Assessment Scales

Health-care professionals often score information patients provide about themselves on an assessment scale. For instance, the American Academy of Pediatrics uses a National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality assessment scale to seek input from a parent. The parent provides input on various aspects relating to the child, and the professional awards the inputa score ranging from zero for "never" responses to three for "very often" responses. The health-care professional uses this input to give the patient a score that helps the professional manage the case.

Programs

Health-care professionals also use education and prevention programs to help them with case management of their patients. Such programs typically provide resources to health-care professionals, along with education to the patients to help them cope with certain conditions. One such program is the TeenScreen program at Columbia University's National Center for Mental Health Checkups. This program offers support to health professionals looking to have an annual mental health screening for adolescent patients. TeenScreen provides health professionals with questionnaires to screen their patients, a guide to link families with local health resources and a post-screening interview guide that helps health professionals assess their patients after screening them. The program can help determine whether an adolescent patient is depressed, anxious or otherwise at risk for suicide.