Improving Outcomes


I have been so excited about this edition of CMSA Today since we set the editorial calendar last year. The focus is on improving outcomes and case managers being “disruptive innovators,” creating new programs to solve problems and getting the word out to the healthcare world about the incredible work that case managers do day in and day out.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a group of case managers in the Chicago area, discussing the value of evidence-based practice in case management and how evidence-based practice comes into being. As I told the group, we are all doing process improvement projects at our places of work. For those who have master’s or doctoral degrees, we had to create projects and thesis papers. Sadly, most of this excellent work languishes in a desk drawer, in a file on your computer or maybe it makes it to a poster presentation during Healthcare Quality week internally — rarely past that.

I mentioned in my blog posting in February about my experience at Northern Kentucky University’s DNP graduation and the abundance of projects with a case management/population health focus. Multiply that experience times the number of master’s and doctoral programs and the depth of potential for expanding the evidence base across our disciplines and specialties increases exponentially. Yet, the vast majority of those papers go unpublished.

I am a mentor member of a DNP Practice Project Facebook group that is a kind of support group for DNP candidates. This past weekend, there was a question posed about how to move forward in getting papers published. One of the responses struck a chord with me. The poster stated that she “would consider submitting but doesn’t want to ‘get stuck’ having to do research projects all the time” after initial publication. I responded that publication does not have to lead to a lifetime of writing papers and asked that she consider sending me her paper when completed for review and possible publication.

It’s the same offer I made to the group of case managers I spoke with last week. Dissemination is the key to expanding the evidence base of our professions/disciplines/specialties. Whether you publish that paper that’s been sitting in your drawer or desktop, present that internal poster to a wider audience (maybe writing an article to summarize your findings) or do a full-on educational session at a conference, you hold the key to creating and expanding the evidence base, with the potential for improving patient outcomes across the care continuum.

The CMSA National Conference is June 27-30, 2023, in Las Vegas. Come check out the educational offerings, expand the evidence base and maybe find a project that you can bring back to your place of practice to help improve outcomes!

colleen morley

Dr. Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM, is the associate chief clinical operations officer, care continuum for University of Illinois Health System and the current president of the Case Management Society of America National Board of Directors. She has held positions in acute care as director of case management at several acute care facilities and managed care entities in Illinois, overseeing utilization review, case management and social services for over 14 years, piloting quality improvement initiatives focused on readmission reduction and care coordination through better communication and population health management.

Her current passion is in the area of improving health literacy. She is the recipient of the CMSA Foundation Practice Improvement Award (2020) and ANA Illinois Practice Improvement Award (2020) for her work in this area. Dr. Morley also received the AAMCN Managed Care Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 and the CMSA Fellow of Case Management designation in 2022. Her first book, A Practical Guide to Acute Care Case Management, published by Blue Bayou Press, was released in February 2022.

Dr. Morley has over 20 years of nursing experience. Her clinical specialties include med/surg, oncology and pediatric nursing. She received her ADN at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois, BSN at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida, MSN from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont and her DNP at Chamberlain College of Nursing.



Comments are closed.