Case Notes: Why Case Notes are Important

woman at computer entering case notesCase notes should be entered to record and document client contacts, case changes, data exchange exception clearances, interviews/initial eligibility determinations and case reviews/re-determinations of eligibility.  Good case notes are their own reward in the benefits they provide but there are many other reasons why case notes are important.  Below is a list of some of those reasons.

Good Case Notes:

  • Avoid errors as state and federal auditors know why you did what you did.  Information that is not documented in case notes can’t be considered in an audit.
  • Explain the history of the case as the notes record what the situation was at a specific time a case action was taken.
  • Provide a necessary record of information used for eligibility determination and case management.
  • Explain the eligibility determination decisions made for each program.
  • Explain changes to help you remember what action you took and why.
  • Help others reviewing your case to know what has happened and why and provide a quick and informed response to inquiries or complaints.
  • Function as the primary source for previous information as computer screens are sometimes hard to follow.
  • Help support and call center staff efficiently assist the client as quickly as possible.
  • Increase accuracy by review of previous information.
  • Enable recognition of inconsistent information trends concerning eligibility criteria such as income, shelter, etc.
  • Save time. Information can found in the same location in each case.
  • Allows others to take action on your case if you are gone.
  • Help the agency speak with one voice consistently.
  • Store information permanently in case notes

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