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Overcoming Adversity to Make a Difference in Patient Care: A Post-Webinar Analysis

13 Jun, 2023 Claire Muselman

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Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) -- Recently, claims and healthcare professionals from diverse fields nationwide tuned into a compelling and informative webinar, "Overcoming Adversity to Make a Difference in Patient Care." The virtual presentation, featuring a distinguished panel of experts, delved deep into the complex landscape of healthcare patient advocacy and the ethical responsibilities and challenges, particularly in the workers' compensation realm.

This digital event featured the expertise of Laura Groman, RN, the National Product Leader at MTI; Zack Craft, MTI's VP of Complex Claims; Lela Holder, a Nurse Case Manager at MTI; Nikki Jackson, MTI's Vice President of Strategy and Marketing; and Michele Lequeux, a Nurse Case Manager from PRC. The panelists' diverse backgrounds and wealth of experience allowed for a robust and nuanced exploration of the topics at hand.

This webinar aimed to elucidate the intricacies and nuances surrounding patient advocacy and the roles different stakeholders play in better educating the workers' compensation industry. In healthcare, advocacy is defined as any action that endorses, advocates for or acts on behalf of patients. Panelists stressed that this responsibility is not limited to any single role but instead falls within the purview of all stakeholders. This includes medical providers, family members, adjusters, lawyers, and vendors.

The conversation underscored that advocacy is a tool to support patients in their journey toward health and a means to maintain a consistent and ethical approach to healthcare and claims management. As the panelists explained, advocacy goes beyond the mere provision of care—it supports patients in navigating the complex world of medical choices. It ensures transparency, fairness, and efficiency in claims management.

The webinar also delved into the roles of stakeholders and the significance of maintaining ethical standards in these varied professional capacities. The discussion urged all involved parties to recognize their part in creating a safe, fair, and productive environment for patient care and recovery. All involved are part of the patient's journey, including case managers, physicians, therapists, nurses, family members, adjusters, attorneys, and vendors. Thus, they are all responsible for being vigilant about possible situations that could compromise these ethical standards.

An essential focus of the discussion was the Code of Professional Conduct for Case Managers. This set of standards was designed to protect public interests by clearly delineating the scope of practice for case managers. It encourages case managers to advocate for clients' rights, ensures they practice only within the limits of their professional competence, reminds them to abide by relevant laws, emphasizes the avoidance of conflicts of interest, stresses the importance of maintaining objectivity, and underlines the necessity of safeguarding patients' information confidentiality.

Most of the discussion revolved around the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practices in the workers' compensation arena. This code, applicable to healthcare professionals across the board, outlines the principles of professional integrity, confidentiality, competence, compliance with laws, impartiality, conflict resolution, diversity, ethical advertising, and reporting violations. The panelists emphasized the universality of these principles and the importance of upholding them to maintain a professional and ethical work environment.

One of the crucial points addressed was conflicts of interest in healthcare, highlighted with specific examples. Conflicts can arise, particularly in cases such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or when medical supplies are provided to patients without proper communication with other stakeholders. These situations could lead to undue stress for patients, confusion among the care team, and, ultimately, impair the quality of patient care.

The panelists proposed open communication and preemptive dialogue with all stakeholders as a solution. By ensuring that every stakeholder is on the same page, potential issues can be identified and addressed before they escalate, leading to a smoother and more effective care process.

The panelists devoted significant time to objectivity in healthcare, a critical component of any healthcare professional's role. They noted that healthcare providers must be conscious of their biases, consider all perspectives, and rely on reliable information sources to ensure objectivity. They suggested measures such as maintaining accurate records, providing clear and open communication, and adhering to objective charting practices to uphold this principle.

In the final part of the webinar, the discussion pivoted to Private Health Information (PHI), confidentiality, and security of records in the context of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in Workers' Compensation. While the panelists acknowledged that the HIPAA Privacy Rule may not directly apply to entities involved in workers' compensation, they asserted that maintaining privacy and security is a responsibility shared by all involved in the healthcare industry.

As the webinar concluded, attendees were left with a clear sense of their roles, responsibilities, and the importance of upholding ethical standards in their practice. The discussion highlighted the need for constant vigilance, open communication, and steadfast commitment to patients' rights and well-being.

The webinar took a significant step toward fostering more ethical, patient-centered practices by raising awareness of these essential ethical considerations. Ultimately, as the panelists pointed out, overcoming adversity in patient care comes down to advocating relentlessly for patients and continuously striving to uphold the highest ethical standards. Looking ahead, the insights gleaned from this webinar are sure to spark critical self-reflection and inspire improvements across the healthcare industry.


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    About The Author

    • Claire Muselman

      Meet Dr. Claire C. Muselman, the Chief Operating Officer at WorkersCompensation.com, where she blends her vast academic insight and professional innovation with a uniquely positive energy. As the President of DCM, Dr. Muselman is renowned for her dynamic approach that reshapes and energizes the workers' compensation industry. Dr. Muselman's academic credentials are as remarkable as her professional achievements. Holding a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University, she specializes in employee engagement, human behavior, and the science of leadership. Her diverse background in educational leadership, public policy, political science, and dance epitomizes a multifaceted approach to leadership and learning. At Drake University, Dr. Muselman excels as an Assistant Professor of Practice and Co-Director of the Master of Science in Leadership Program. Her passion for teaching and commitment to innovative pedagogy demonstrate her dedication to cultivating future leaders in management, leadership, and business strategy. In the industry, Dr. Muselman actively contributes as an Ambassador for the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation and plays key roles in organizations such as Kids Chance of Iowa, WorkCompBlitz, and the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, underscoring her leadership and advocacy in workers’ compensation. A highly sought-after speaker, Dr. Muselman inspires professionals with her engaging talks on leadership, self-development, and risk management. Her philosophy of empathetic and emotionally intelligent leadership is at the heart of her message, encouraging innovation and progressive change in the industry. "Empowerment is key to progress. By nurturing today's professionals with empathy and intelligence, we're crafting tomorrow's leaders." - Dr. Claire C. Muselman

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