By Linda VanDillen
Reblogged with permission because we find the commentary relevant and useful.
What Did We Need to Find Out?
Immediately as it became clear that this Coronavirus was not something that was going to just disappear, or that we in the luckiest country in the world, were not going to be able to avoid, our CompAlliance President, Jim Weir, met with our Sales Team and Executive Committee and requested us to call each of the clients we serve. We were instructed to inquire as to how they were doing, and find out what were their needs right now?
At the same time, the Executive Committee was requested to enact the contingency plans we had formed during our Disaster Planning exercises over the past years. Most of our staff already work virtually, so we then formed a plan for as many of the remainder of the staff to "Stay Home, Work Safe" as possible. We also looked at our potential equipment needs for the next 6 months and determined if our current reserve of supplies and equipment was adequate, and if not, where do we increase?
What Did We Need to Develop?
As a result of our conversations with clients, our staff reviewed our existing service offerings to determine if there were services we needed to expand or develop additional offerings to meet those needs expressed by our clients.
As a result, our 24/7 Nurse Triage Program was expanded to include a 24/7 Telephonic Coronavirus Nurse Triage program based on CDC Best Practices for assessment and referral. Our goal is to be that hotline your employee can call to provide direction as to next steps to take if you or your employee is concerned about exposure to, or contraction of, the COVID-19 virus.
Our clients also were asking about our abilities to provide field/telephonic combination case management services. Our case management team met (virtually) to review how best we can meet the needs of our Recovering Workers (RW), the treating physician, the employer, our referral source and facilitate adherence and communication. As CompAlliance has an existing robust telephonic CM program in place, our team simply added some additional guidelines that we integrated into our existing Field CM program. We also are exploring the ability of our RW and physician to hold a FaceTime (or other type of service) call with the case manager to allow for decreased density (social distancing) in an exam room.
Above all, our priority is for our staff to make a sensible and safe decision when determining if they are to attend any activities. If you would like to discuss with us how we have designed this adaptation to our current CM program, we would be happy to share with you our plan, and the results we are currently obtaining.
Who Did We Need to Support?
Our clients also saw a need to provide additional Vocational Services, not only for the Recovering Worker, but also for their own staff. As a result of "Stay Home, Work Safe", we have a lot of employees now working from makeshift offices within their own homes. They may find this office setup is a literal pain in their neck. Because we have so many employees that work from home, CompAlliance developed a Virtual Ergonomic Training Program for our own employees last year. We are excited about the potential for our CEAS certified Vocational Specialists being able to provide virtual ergonomic services for our clients and their staff. We also can FaceTime with individual staff members having more difficulty in setting up their office space. Sometimes, just minor adjustments can make a big difference! We would be honored to help your staff during this trying time.
Additionally, we wanted to stress the need for the CompAlliance Early Intervention Vocational Program has not changed during these trying times. In fact, it may be more needed than ever. We believe the entire process to initiate Vocational Services can be accomplished virtually. While we believe our Initial Assessment is most effective when accomplished in-person, during these times we believe there is more acceptance by both the Recovering Worker and their attorney to conduct a virtual "in-person" assessment meeting.
Following this meeting, the remainder of the evaluations and training, Labor Market Survey, Transferable Skills Analysis, and Job Seeking Skills Training, etc. can be conducted online and virtually. The beauty of the CompAlliance Early Intervention Vocational Program is we can assist in getting your Recovering Worker ready to hit the ground running when their treatment is completed, and we are all able to return to our normal lives!
If you are unsure as to if your Recovering Worker would benefit from Vocational Services, CompAlliance offers complimentary file reviews to address potential benefits that may be derived from our services. We can also provide our thoughts after discussing with you the history of the case, reviewing pertinent medical and rehabilitation reports and any additional case management records you may have that provide a good overview of your Recovering Worker's condition and functional capabilities.
How Does a Company Stay Nimble and Responsive?
By talking with their clients, finding out their needs and responding to those needs. It seems simple and intuitive, but many times it is forgotten. We all think we know what someone else needs, don't we? CompAlliance hopes to be your resource for innovative alternatives that can keep your Recovering Worker, their treating physician and employer engaged!
Linda VanDillan - Vice President of Communications and Quality at CompAlliance, passionate about the opioid crisis and the cost to society. Researching cost drivers in workers' compensation and case management methods to mitigate these cost drivers. Working to improve outcomes for both the employer and the injured worker