Quality Medical Outcomes: Highly trained physicians in occupational medicine for specialized care

By Eric Becker | 11/02/2015

Occupational Medicine - The Intersection of Expertise and Philosophy 

Producing quality medical outcomes begins with real-world expertise, collaboration, and the application of evidence based practices. Research shows that injured workers often have improved outcomes when treatment includes interventions aimed at early mobilization. Leading clinicians in occupational medicine have found it beneficial to view the employee as an industrial athlete – one that requires frequent assessment and intervention to return to a normalized state as soon as it is safely possible to do so. This philosophy helps to align everyone behind the same goal, optimizing the employee’s level of functioning and independence.

Taking this holistic approach to individualized care planning weighs the considerations of injury, mobility, role responsibilities, task limitations and psychosocial implications as well to create the best outcomes possible for each patient. Experienced providers trained in occupational medicine understand what’s at stake. Concentra clinicians understand that the focus must remain on engaging the patient as a partner in the care team, to promote positive outcomes and to decrease the impact injuries can have upon the employee’s ability to return to their prior level of functioning. 

Clinical Coordination 

Strong clinical coordination is vital to producing positive outcomes. In some cases, an employee may require the assistance of a specialist. When employees see multiple clinicians at multiple locations, it can be challenging to manage the scheduling and communication needs. Consistent communication with each collaborating professional, from specialists to therapists, decreases the risk associated with time consuming, or incomplete care transitions. Avoiding such delays improves employee engagement, and can help to decrease the likelihood of the injury evolving into a disabling condition.   

Employers can choose a clinical partnership with occupational medicine experts that are familiar with the needed care transitions to provide strong communication and collaboration. This is frequently welcomed by employers since the accessibility of specialty care, communication barriers, and lack of care coordination are often described as the biggest challenges in managing the care of employees, and controlling costs. Concentra’s integrated service team with established communication plans, care transition processes, and follow up contact can help to relieve some concerns for both the employer and the injured worker. Some of our Concentra experts in occupational medicine go one step further by integrating the doctor, the physical therapist, and the medical specialist all under one roof, to maximize accessibility for the employees. 

Focus on Outcomes 

A willingness to focus on positive outcomes is the final component required of a Best in Class occupational medicine program. Many employers think that they are getting good outcomes from their current healthcare partnerships, but how can an employer identify if that is true? There are three strong characteristics to a program that is truly “focused on positive outcomes” for employees. These three important factors must all be a part of the program: ongoing measurement of all outcomes, an ongoing analysis with a focus on intervention and validation of quality improvement initiatives, and transparent communication with employers and employees. 

Concentra clinicians use outcomes information to educate other clinicians, share aggregate data on common diagnoses, compare practice patterns, and refine treatment protocols based on the evidence gathered from these outcomes. At Concentra, this information is also compared with research data to show how individual outcomes compare with industry outcomes, providing the clinicians with feedback, specific to their own patients, on how to further increase their frequency positive outcomes. 

Conclusion

Concentra is unmatched in the industry in terms of its focus on positive employee outcomes. Concentra has seen more than 180 million work-related injuries over the last 30 years and 18% of all workers’ compensation claims in the US are managed by Concentra. We’ve invested more than 25 million dollars into an IT system that tracks each injury from the initial visit to discharge. Concentra utilizes this wealth of data to track trends in patient outcomes. As a result, we’re able to identify the practices that lead to exceptional, cost effective medical care.

Comparing our results to those reported nationwide tells us that Concentra clinicians are able to return 92.3% of the employees we treat to transitional or full duty. This time savings results in an average cost savings of 22 percent per claim or a savings of $2251 per claim, as compared to other network providers. Concentra’s case tracking process also helps to reduce the number of litigated claims by 32%.

Focusing on quality medical outcomes is a clear priority at Concentra. As a result, we are able to provide Best in Class care and a consistent return-to-work program that benefits employees, and employers alike. Our proven ability to deliver high quality outcomes, while remaining sensitive to cost containment, is the reason that more employers have chosen to entrust Concentra with their most valuable asset, their people.