Virtual case management (VCM) methods have been around for years, helping enhance nonprofit case managers’ ability to communicate with each other and with clients. However, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 showed the nonprofit sector that VCM could play a bigger, more permanent role than professionals originally thought. With precedents set by this pandemic of how work can be done remotely, the future of virtual case management is wide open. Telehealth and tele-human services will look much different in the future because of the way that nonprofit work will change and is changing.
VCM’s Impact On Case Managers
During the pandemic, many companies and organizations found great value in allowing employees to work remotely or from home. It saved money on gas and office rent while enabling employees to stay safe and get the same amount of work—or more—done. Nonprofit organizations in particular have benefited from hybrid work’s tendency to reduce cost while maximizing flexibility in daily workflows and communication methods.
Even though the effects of the pandemic have slowed down in the United States, virtual work environments are here to stay in many cases. A hybrid work environment has been and will continue to be the result of this shift, in which staff and case managers can choose what kind of work—office-based or remote—is most appropriate and most beneficial for their clients and the organization at any given time. While it will still be necessary for nonprofit staff to do work in-person on certain occasions, the ability to telework will be a major advantage to all.
VCM doesn’t just enable case managers to talk to clients more easily—it also enhances collaboration among colleagues from peers, to supervisors, and anyone in between. When nonprofit workers are able to receive instant feedback and updates, a case management plan comes together more seamlessly from the start and is able to run more efficiently overall. Beyond communication, the ability to share case notes and client data among appropriate staff members assists with reporting and continued multi-disciplinary work and team-driven client results. VCM helps ensure that no one is left out of the case management equation who needs to be a part of it.
Technology Will Continue to Improve and Innovate
The technology used to do VCM and hybrid work is still technically in its infancy. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams grew in technical ability by leaps and bounds during 2020, and are continuing to do so because of ever-increasing demand. So it stands to reason that over time, technologies like these will become more useful and intuitive, further adding value to the VCM space and to case managers’ workflows. As these technologies continue to innovate, people will be able to get even more value out of a video conference or even out of a chat room function. For nonprofits, standard tools like the ones listed above simply won’t accomplish everything a case manager may require. When case managers are able to do their work better because of technology by leveraging industry-specific tools, clients will also reap the benefits.
VCM’s Impact on Clients
Increased Need In Communities Requires Increased Efficiency
In the past year, nonprofit organizations have been overwhelmed by the amount of need that COVID-19 has caused and revealed around the world. The ability to continue adapting to new forms of work that can help solve these needs is critical. VCM techniques can help by providing rapid communication, smoother workflows, virtual visits, and wider reach. And while these needs may slow down once the pandemic is fully behind us, they won’t completely disappear. The effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt for many years to come, which means the need for VCM will also continue to exist.
More Flexible Client Interactions
Enhanced communication through technology means that interaction with clients will become easier, even if they’re a significant distance away. This will also allow for expanded reach of services. VCM makes it possible to communicate with clients and fellow staff members anywhere, at any time, which leads to adaptability of workflows and more efficient use of resources and time. It can also lead to spending less time on paperwork and more time on clients and their goals. Clients statistically reach better outcomes when they have the support they need, and VCM helps expand the amount of assistance that case managers are able to provide. A future of efficiency in case management because of the use of advanced technology will help many more people for years to come.
Improved Intake and Less Wait Time
One of the major aspects of case management that can have a huge impact on clients from the onboarding process to reaching their desired outcomes is the time required to assist them. In the past, clients would have to wait in lines or wait for a phone call as the system takes time to work. With VCM elements, the client-facing features that they often include, and the automated workflows that case management software provides, clients will receive aid in a much smaller time frame. Timing is often of the essence in the nonprofit world, and improving client intake and case building processes will make the experience all the more beneficial.
The CaseWorthy Solution
Our primary goal is to assist nonprofit organizations in doing their everyday work to help their clients. We want to be a part of the future of case management, which means being at the forefront of innovation and ensuring that case managers have all the tools and resources they need to do their jobs well. We offer CommHUB, a software solution that enhances communication within organizations and with clients. We offer our Portal add-on, a front-facing solution that clients can use to sign up for assistance and receive aid in a timely manner. We offer configurable workflows and reporting capabilities that help cut down on the time it takes to administer client programs and receive funding. And that’s just the start of our software’s robust and customizable capabilities. We’re here to help humanitarian service delivery become the best it’s ever been. For more information on what we do and how we can help your organization, contact us today!