CCMC: Leaning Into Change
I’m a person who has always believed you cannot become stagnant, whether it is in your personal life or your career. As we begin a new year—and new decade—the case management profession is anything but stagnant. Like the health care landscape around us, the practice of case management is evolving quickly, and the Commission for Case Manager Certification® (CCMC®) is leaning into these changes with our work to help ensure a prepared and ready workforce.
As Board Chair for 2019-2020, I am very fortunate to be able to help shape initiatives that are supporting case managers in their goals to be effective advocates for their clients and to grow in their careers. Three areas that I believe are particularly important to our work to keep growing the profession are learning, partnering, and mentoring.
Consumers, payers, and health care professionals know they have choices. Board-certified case managers and disability management specialists are a partner of choice because of the education, experience, and knowledge associated with the CCM® and CDMS® designations. Beyond certification, being part of an elite workforce also means staying informed of new legislation, regulations, and issues that impact the client’s ability to access and manage their care.
The Commission is focused on opening more doors for case managers and disability management specialists to further their education, whether they’re certified or not. We do that by offering both online and in-person education, expanding our offerings on both fronts through the CMLearning Network platform and community-based Cert 360 workshops. We also do that by collaborating with subject matter experts to discuss timely topics such as health technology, artificial intelligence, integrated community health care models, leave and absence management, and social determinants of health. Additionally, our fifth New World Symposium is taking place March 12-14, 2020.
Regardless of your educational and professional background—whether it be nursing, social work, disability management, or another discipline—we have to be a united front as case managers and disability management specialists. We are facing historic labor shortages in health care and disability management at the same time our client’s needs are growing exponentially. We must attract new people into the professions. We need critical thinkers, problem solvers, and those who are passionate about helping others. And we need to do this in a way that keeps the integrity of the professions.
Many organizations focus on different aspects of case and disability management—membership organizations, certification bodies, and others. We must be collaborative, break down barriers, and work together to develop a prepared and ready workforce. Through our work with our partners (including NASW and CMSA), we are broadening our reach. For example, board-certified case managers represent not only nurses and social workers but multiple allied health professionals working in case management. This diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and views will greatly benefit the case management profession and our clients.
The smartest professional is the one who knows where to look for the information they need. For those new to the professions, mentors offer knowledge, leadership, experience, and encouragement. But even the most seasoned professionals can run into new situations where they can use some guidance or even a little push now and then. The Commission is committed to creating resources that help mentors and mentees explore the practical and ethical issues that arise in the life of a case manager and/or disability management specialist. For example, we recently sponsored a contest that generated many inspirational and motivational quotes that brought to life the importance of having a mentor.
Aside from sharing their knowledge, experienced case managers and disability management specialists also have an important role to play in helping grow the professions. Though it may be challenging to reach young professionals, our colleagues working in academia have an important role to play, and it’s exciting to see more academic institutions adding case management courses into their curriculum. Through partnerships and mentoring, the Commission will stay focused on finding new ways to reach and engage case management and disability management professionals earlier in their careers.
The Commission will soon release the results of its new CCM Role and Function study, something we conduct every five years. This research offers important insights into how the profession is evolving and how we can ensure that what we do as a community—from certification to education to mentoring—best supports these real-world needs. As we look ahead, the outlook for the case management profession has never been brighter. I’m excited about what the future holds for the practice of case management and look forward to working with colleagues from across health care in developing the workforce of the future!