CorVel Responds to Media Inquiries Regarding Hospital Incident
Fort Worth, TX (WorkersCompensation.com) - On Friday, January 30, a Fort Worth Police Department coordinator asked CorVel to send a nurse to the hospital to provide assistance and support to an injured police officer who was being treated there and to his family.
The registered nurse who went to the hospital has 25 years experience working with severely injured individuals, a Master's degree in Public Health and she is a Certified Case Manager. She was met at the hospital by police officers who were expecting her.
At this point in time, the nurse had already been working with several other City employees in various stages of recovery. She had been well received by injured City employees and their families in the past. She was also currently working with another City police officer recovering from major injuries, which had gone well from the time she first visited in the hospital under similar circumstances.
When she arrived at Harris Memorial, the nurse was escorted to the family by a police liaison officer who was not the usual officer that handles these duties, and there was apparently a misunderstanding as to who she was and what her purpose was for being there. Her presence was not well received and after a brief interaction the nurse left the hospital.
CorVel has investigated the matter and we are confident that the nurse acted professionally and responsibly throughout the interaction and that the incident was an unfortunate misunderstanding.
CorVel met with City officials on Monday, February 2, to discuss what happened and ask that they convey our apologies to the officer and his family. We also asked that they convey our concern for the officer and our wishes for his speedy recovery.
According to news reports over the weekend, there were questions why someone representing the City's worker's compensation management firm was present at the hospital the day after the officer had undergone surgery and was resting in the hospital's intensive care unit.
Unfortunately, the news stories did not report that the Police Department coordinator had requested the nurse or that sending a nurse as a case coordinator early in the recovery process is an industry standard and a service that the City wants provided to its workers with serious injuries.
In fact, the City of Fort Worth has issued written Special Instructions to CorVel that, in the event of a catastrophic or severe on-the-job injury, a nurse case manager must be immediately assigned to the injured worker. Both the Fort Worth Police Department and CorVel were following this protocol when the nurse was sent to the hospital.
The purpose of sending a nurse as an early point of contact is to offer assistance to the injured employee and their family, and to evaluate their immediate and future needs for coordination of medical services.
Since the 1950s, employers have seen the benefits of sending a skilled registered nurse as early as possible to assist the injured employee to attain the maximum potential recovery from serious injury. Early intervention is the industry standard, widely practiced, and proven to deliver better outcomes for the injured employee.
CorVel regrets that any misunderstanding of our nurse's role was disturbing or insensitive to the family of the wounded officer.
We have 330 employees in the Fort Worth area who rely on the City's first responders for their own safety and security and who deeply appreciate the risks they face and the service and sacrifice they provide on a daily basis.
CorVel will continue working with the Mayor, the City and the Police Department to resolve the misunderstandings surrounding this event and to continue our cordial and productive relationship.
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