Senior Solutions LA – Builds Better Relationships with Discharge Planners

Discharge planners are highly educated, trained, professional, caring individuals on a mission to do good things for others. To improve relations with discharge planners, you must first establish a connection with them. This means finding common ground to build a relationship based on shared interests and concerns or providing assistance that may benefit or improve their jobs. It is also crucial to look beyond your own needs and priorities, so to provide support and concern for their needs!

Best Practices for Building Relationships with Discharge Planners

  1. SSLA – Accepts Problematic Patients
    One of the most effective ways for a facility to build trust with a discharge planner is to help him or her move a problematic patient— this selfless act will likely result in future referrals. Thus, benefiting the liaison after the initial burden. 

Meanwhile, accepting a problematic patient has several benefits such as: 

One of the most effective ways for a facility to build trust with a discharge planner is to help him or her move a problematic patient.

  • Improving relations with discharge planners—The mere process of investigating a patient’s past medical history provides the perfect opportunity for liaisons to develop closer ties with discharge planners.
  • Establishing connections with physicians—Including the physician in charge of the patient makes this even more valuable for gaining future referrals because it cements the relationship between the facility and the staff of other healthcare providers.

2. SSLA is Authentic
Approach case managers with your real (but professional) personality in order to allow them to get comfortable with you.  This is because any professional relationship is built on the foundation of trust and mutual benefit for all parties concerned. They need to keep things professional.

A “lunch-and-learn” event can be organized, as it provides an opportunity for both parties to “learn” from each other. Of course, during these sessions, liaisons can take the opportunity to discuss specific patients or other relevant matters that can improve admissions.

3. SSLA is Honest
A case manager may have a great relationship with a liaison, but at the end of the day, business is business.

Liaisons should always remember that physicians and discharge planners will want the best care outcomes for their patients. Hence, they will typically consult with the family of the patient and check the CMS 5-star rating of the facility. The facility should be ready to answer questions from family members, and they should do their best to ensure they have the highest CMS 5-star rating they can get.

If a facility was cited for abuse, ensure that it was an isolated incident that was addressed and explain to the case manager that the problem was rectified.  Honesty is the best policy.

Meanwhile, if a facility is unable to admit a patient that has been referred to them—on account of the patient being too troublesome, abusive, or possessing a criminal record—the liaison should immediately voice their concerns. Thus, giving an explanation to why they will not admit the patient while ensuring that the relationship is untainted, and neither party wastes each other’s valuable time. 

4. SSLA is Persistent
It is also helpful to stay present in the case manager’s mind with regular contact every couple of days. However, be mindful that case managers have busy schedules. Therefore, it is best to avoid them during inconvenient times, for instance, when they have busy workloads or are spending quality time with family.

To do this, you will need to get their personal number. One way to do this is to share your personal number with them and let them know that you are available should they need you.

For more information about Building Relationships with Discharge Planners, contact us:

Craig G. Condon, Senior Care Specialist                                    
504 202 2548  | 

Rebecca Zickler, BSSW, MSW, Senior Advisor
313-686-0233  |