The Elements of Effective Injury Care

Haley Bass

As an effective small business owner, you’ve thought of everything. You studied your state’s workers’ compensation regulations, you researched and found the right insurance coverage, and you even created and shared a great injury care plan.

Then the unthinkable happens – an employee, even while following the appropriate safety measures, takes one misstep and gets hurt. Your workers take immediate action to follow the injury care plan, and the injured employee is off to see a physician.

A couple days go by and you haven’t heard anything about your injured worker, so you attempt to call the physician. It takes some time to get ahold of them, then you learn that your worker was prescribed opioids and bed rest for six weeks. Suddenly, your carefully laid out workers’ comp process starts falling apart, and the unexpected costs start adding up.

The missing key? An effective occupational medicine provider.

No matter how carefully you plan every other step, your workers’ compensation program is only as effective as your injury care team. It doesn’t matter how quickly your employees act or how speedily you file a claim if your provider doesn’t communicate and only uses passive treatment techniques.

At Concentra, we partner with you to get your injured employee back to work quickly. Our physicians are work health experts, and know the best way to treat an injured employee is the same way professional athletes are treated – immediately and actively.

The Sports Medicine Approach

In treating injured workers, occupational medicine providers have found that the same principles that lead to successful recovery for athletes can also be applied in the workplace. Concentra treats your employees like industrial athletes, applying a sports medicine approach to occupational injuries for quick, effective treatment.

Sports medicine is designed to treat injuries immediately, with two goals: to protect against further injury, and to promote rapid recovery of the damage already present. Occupational medicine has the same goals for workers, hoping to get them back to work quickly while using active treatment techniques for long-term healing.

Concentra’s sports medicine approach is successful with three main elements: early intervention, active treatment, and a team approach.

Early Intervention

Concentra models our early intervention approach on the same type of immediate response as utilized by professional trainers and team doctors that rush onto the field. Our physicians begin treatment as quickly as possible after the injury occurs.

Research has shown that injured workers treated within the first 24 hours after an injury occurred were more likely to be out of work a week or less, more satisfied with their medical care, physician, and employer, and less likely to contact a lawyer.

Active Treatment

Staying active and keeping up a familiar routine positively impacts self-image, relationships with family and friends, and can even speed up recovery. When they’re off work, people begin to suffer a disabled mentality, losing the self-respect that comes from earning a living, and even the sense of identity that comes from their occupation. Combined with the decrease in physical activity that often accompanies being off work, you have a prescription for a bad outcome.

An active treatment plan keeps the patient’s body as strong and flexible as possible through a modified duty/transitional work plan, which limits long-term impact and helps injured employees work toward a faster recovery.

Team Approach

Concentra’s physicians and physical therapists work closely with the injured worker, the employer, and the payor to develop an active treatment plan for a quick return to work.

After the physician initially evaluates and diagnoses the patient, he or she will be brought directly to the physical therapist to schedule treatment. Often, patients can start their first therapy session immediately. The physician and physical therapist will work with the employer to understand how the injury happened, then create a recovery plan that keeps the employee active and returns them to good health in no time.

With Concentra, injured workers have a single location for all aspects of treatment, adding convenience and a continuum of care for recovery. This tends to speed up the return-to-work process, as research shows that patients who use physical therapy at an occupational medicine center have a 45% decrease in the average number of therapy visits as compared to the national benchmark.

If you want a successful workers’ compensation program, partner with Concentra to ensure an effective injury care process that will get injured workers back to health – and to work – in no time. Talk to one of our workforce health experts to learn more about our occupational medicine services.