Case Managment Focus: Social Determinants of Health Impacting Return to Work

16 Apr, 2024 Anne Llewellyn

                               

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) -- We don't often consider Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) in workers' compensation, but as we learn more about their impact, we know that recovery and return to work are impacted when they are not recognized and addressed. In this article, I explain SDoH and organizations' strategies for acknowledging and addressing them.

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are non-medical factors affecting an injured worker's recovery and ability to return to work. SDOH’s include:

  • Socioeconomic status, such as age, housing, and finances
  • Personal factors, such as transportation
  • Physical demands of employment
  • Access to healthcare, nutrition, air quality, and literacy skills
  • Societal factors, such as poverty, housing insecurity, and lack of education
  • Employment conditions
  • Social support networks

Organizations realize that nurse case managers and claims adjustors are vital to identifying SDoH. Many organizations include SDoH metrics as part of the comprehensive assessment that case managers and adjustors do when they open and work a file.

Also, training nurses and adjusters in motivational interviewing skills and trying to understand the injured workers' situations better and their definition of successful recovery is being implemented in continuing education programs.

In researching this article, I came across an article written by a long-time case management leader, Chikita B. Mann, MSN RN CCM PGAP Provider, who wrote an article on SDoH on LinkedIn. The title is How Social Determinants of Health Intersects with Work Comp Care Coordination. Take time to read and share the article with your team as you address strategies to address SDoH in your organization. Here is the link to read the article and share it with your colleagues https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-social-determinants-health-intersects-work-comp-chikita-b-mann-iqxnc.


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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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