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  1. Brennan-Cook, Jill DNP, RN, CNE
  2. Bonnabeau, Emily BA
  3. Aponte, Ravenne BA
  4. Augustin, Christina BS
  5. Tanabe, Paula PhD, RN, FAEN, FAAN


Purpose and Objectives: The purpose of this discussion is to review the barriers to care for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Chronic pain and the perception of addiction, implicit bias, frequent hospitalizations and emergency department visits, clinician and patient knowledge deficits, and SCD stigma all impede the ability to provide evidence-based care for patients with SCD. Case managers can coordinate and advocate for appropriate care that improves patient outcomes.


Primary Practice Setting: This discussion is relevant to case managers working with patients with SCD in the clinic, hospital, and emergency department.


Findings/Conclusions: Case managers can serve an important advocacy role and intervene to improve the coordination of services and efficient use of resources. This will lead to improved quality of life and optimal health care utilization for persons with SCD.


Implications for Case Management Practice: As a constant member of the health care team, the case manager may be the only health care team member who has a broad knowledge of the patient's experience of acute and chronic pain, usual state of health, social behavioral health needs, and how these factors may affect both inpatient and outpatient health care use and health outcomes. This article explores the barriers to care and suggests specific interventions within the role of the case manager that can improve care delivered and ultimately contribute to improved patient outcomes. Specifically, these interventions can improve communication among members of the health care team. Case manager interventions can guide coordination, prevent hospital readmissions, reduce health care utilization, and contribute to overall improved patient quality of life and health outcomes.