Emergency department case management: the dyad team of nurse case manager and social worker improve discharge planning and patient and staff satisfaction while decreasing inappropriate admissions and costs: a literature review

Lippincotts Case Manag. 2002 Nov-Dec;7(6):243-51. doi: 10.1097/00129234-200211000-00006.


A model of emergency department (ED) case management consisting of a social worker and a nurse case manager can prevent inappropriate admissions, improve discharge planning, decrease cost, and enhance patient satisfaction. The individual and combined roles of the dyad team of social worker and nurse case manager are discussed. A literature review includes how a case management dyad team of social worker and nurse case manager in the ED can decrease utilization of the ED for nonemergent visits, promote the use of community resources, and improve discharge planning to avoid excessive costs. The importance of the dyad team working with the interdisciplinary team in the ED, the primary care physician (PCP), and other community health care providers in order to provide a holistic approach to care is addressed. A discussion about the improvement of both patient and staff satisfaction demonstrates the results of case management strategies that support and advocate for patients to receive quality, cost-effective care across the health care continuum, while decreasing the use of the ED for nonemergent care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case Management / organization & administration*
  • Cost Control
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Emergency Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Misuse / economics
  • Holistic Health
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Job Description
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Models, Organizational
  • Nurse's Role
  • Patient Admission / standards*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Discharge / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Social Work / organization & administration*