injured 7084846 640

Case Management Focus: Tips to Help Your Patients Get the Most Out of their Rehabilitation Program

12 Apr, 2023 Anne Llewellyn

injured 7084846 640
                               

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) -- Rehabilitation is an integral part of helping an injured worker return to work, but rehabilitation is a challenge for those injured or ill. To help people fully participate, they must exercise between appointments if they are an outpatient. If they are an inpatient, they must do more than they think they can. For people with pain – helping them to know when to take their pain medication so they can put in their maximum effort is another challenge that case managers need to consider.
Physical, occupational, and other therapists working with people in rehabilitation settings are trained to rehabilitate people. Our role as case managers and as family members are to follow the therapist's lead and be a cheerleader to help them push through the challenges they are facing. Here are ten tips I have found to help my patients succeed in whatever rehabilitation rehab program they are in.
Be positive: Attitude means a lot. It is difficult to be positive when you are in pain or face a challenge.
Stay in touch with the therapist to see how the patient is doing. If there are challenges – try to help find solutions.
Keep in touch with your patients and let them know you care and are rooting for them.
Keep the employer and the adjustor updated.
Ask the employer and co-workers to get in touch with the injured worker. Let them know others are wishing them well.
Keep in touch with the family. If this is a catastrophic case – find out who will step up as a caregiver and assume that role once home. Depending on the patient's acuity, you might need more than one person to be a caregiver.
For those who will assume caregiver duties, arrange for them to come to therapy for training.
Start to think about discharge early on – what will the needs be? Does the home need to be modified? Is any equipment required to ensure the home is safe and allows the Injured Worker to be as independent as possible?
Bring the family into the rehabilitation process early. Please encourage them to ask questions so they are part of the team.
Ask about the possibility of injured workers returning to work. If the patient can return to work, ask if accommodation needs to be arranged. If they cannot return to work, talk to the therapist to find the right time to bring in vocational rehabilitation.
Ask if you can sit in on team meetings with the therapist. Being part of the team and hearing the therapists’ reports can help you learn and be on top of the case.
Be proactive, advocate for your patient, and keep all lines of communication open with the injured worker, the rehabilitation team, the family, the employer, and the adjuster.
Rehabilitation is a powerful tool that can change a person’s life if they are engaged and willing to give their all. Each person is different in their needs and how they will respond to the events they are going through.
I hope these tips help you work with your patients when they enter rehabilitation, whether inpatient, in a work-hardening program, a work conditioning program, or outpatient therapy.
If you have additional tips that you have learned as a workers' compensation case manager, leave a comment or email me at allewellyn48@gmailcom


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    About The Author

    • Anne Llewellyn

      Anne Llewellyn is a registered nurse with over forty years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, healthcare publications and training and development. Anne has been a leader in the area of Patient Advocacy since 2010. She was a Founding member of the Patient Advocate Certification Board and is currently serving on the National Association of Health Care Advocacy. Anne writes a weekly Blog, Nurse Advocate to share stories and events that will educate and empower people be better prepared when they enter the healthcare system.

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