This month we provide an inside look at a healthcare case manager, the choices she made on the road to success, and the challenges ahead.
Linda Conroy, RN, BSN, Clinical Integration Case Manager for Hartford Physician Hospital Organization (HPHO)
HIN: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into case management?
Linda Conroy: I started my nursing career as an LPN and obtained a position as a case manager at a home care agency. I spent the next 15 years going to school part-time and working at home care agencies part-time. After obtaining my BSN. I went to work at Hartford Hospital in the Clinical Research Center as a clinical research associate. From there I accepted a position as a case coordinator/discharge planner and I am currently working at HPHO as a clinical integration case manager. I was able to get into case management as an LPN due to my recent employment at The CT Hospice in Branford. The home care agency at the time was starting a hospice program.
Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road?
I knew I was meant to be a case manager from the beginning. I found it to be both challenging and rewarding. I loved the process of identifying barriers to my patients' health and researching resources.
What are two or three important concepts or rules that you follow in case management?
Always try and understand what the patient is feeling. Allow the patient/family to guide me in what they want and how they want to reach their goals. Do No Harm.
What is the single most successful thing that your organization is doing now?
The HPHO is working with Hartford Hospital to reduce the rate of readmissions for our patients that are discharged with a primary diagnosis of congestive heart failure. We are working with several home care agencies and skilled nursing facilities to provide improved transition of care and education to both family and patient.
Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2012?
I plan to continue to work with the team to develop effective interventions to assist our patients in managing a chronic illness, and to break down silos both within the hospital and in the community.
What is the most satisfying thing about being a case manager?
Enabling patients and families.
What are your favorite hobbies, and how did they develop in your life?
I love to garden, play golf and knit. My mom taught me how to knit when I was seven and I have found it to be very relaxing and therapeutic. I love being outdoors and finding ways to make my yard fun. I play golf to be with my husband.
Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend?
Yes, "Still Alice" by Dr. Lisa Genova.
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