What is the fastest and most reliable way to get injured workers back on their feet and back to work as quickly as possible?
Consistency of Care. Following the prescribed treatment schedule without interruption is essential to getting injured employees well and back to work quickly.
Employers know that consistency of care is important – but knowing how to provide the required level of consistent treatment is a different story. No matter how good intentions may be, interruption of treatment, missed appointments and misunderstandings all cause delays. And delays don’t only mean a slower recovery time – they also cost everyone involved more money.
So how do companies ensure consistency of care? Partnering with an ancillary care provider that is committed to consistency of care is the first step. A quality provider will have programs in place not only to provide the necessary services – but to make sure they are provided with consistency. And it is that consistency of care that gets workers compensation claimants back to work faster.
When looking to see how committed to consistency a company is– here are some things to keep in mind:
Missed Appointments. Missed doctor and therapy appointments can bring the recovery process to a standstill. Injured workers too often report missing appointments because they were unsure of the time, the driver was late or they didn’t know they had an appointment.
To make sure you are working with an ancillary care partner that has policies in place to make sure appointments aren’t missed, look for the following:
Appointments should be confirmed with the physician prior
the claimant being picked up.
Appointments should be confirmed and reconfirmed with the claimant by phone – 48 hours before, 24 hours before, and again 2 hours before.
Appointments should be confirmed with claimants in their primary language – to make sure they understand where and when they need to be someplace.
Reliable, on-time drivers. You can’t get consistent care if you can’t get where you need to be when you need to be there. It is all about being on time. Drivers need to 2 arrive on time. Pickups and Drop offs need to be completed on time. Because on time saves money. Here’s what happens when drivers aren’t on time…
Late Driver = missed appointments.
Missed appointments = more time lost.
More time lost = more money lost.
Insist on a company that has a network of knowledgeable drivers that know where they are going and can identify alternate routes if necessary. Traffic? Flat Tire? Construction? There should be procedures in place to handle these unforeseen events.
And speaking of drivers – make sure that in addition to being on time, you are dealing with drivers that are licensed and insured. And more than that, they should be friendly, properly dressed and maintain a clean vehicle. No injured worker should ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any time.
Translation Services. Not all claimants understand the English language well enough to follow the medical instructions given to them. And if they cannot understand… they cannot comply.
Claimants who do not have a sufficient understanding of the English are prone to taking the wrong dosage of medication with potentially devastating effects. They are also less likely to complete the necessary physical and occupational therapies because they are unclear about what they are expected to do. Translation services should be made available to every claimant in every language.
Translation services are not for convenience – they are about the health and safety of the worker. By receiving their doctor’s instructions and prescription dosages into their own language, injured workers are able to better understand their situation, ask questions, seek treatment and do what is necessary to get back to work.
Customer Service: When dealing with such a broad range of medical needs and services, questions are bound to arise. And you want to know you have somewhere to go to get the answers to any and every question you may have.
Consistency means getting answers fast. Don’t let customer service cause more problems than it solves because you are sitting on hold when you should be talking to a person. True customer service means someone is on the other end of the line offering alternate solutions in real time.
Consistency is the Silver Bullet. When it comes to closing workers compensation claims, Consistency = Closure. So look not only for the services you need – but also for the consistency in which they are provided. Consistency is more than just knowing what to expect next. Consistency is about getting back injured workers better and back to work.