The Benefits of Integrating Physical Therapy and Occupational Medicine
Integrating Physical Therapy and Occupational Medicine is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. For starters, integration reduces the incurred employer cost for the care of a work related injury. Additionally, quicker return to prior physical status minimizes lost working hours as well as improves the employee’s participation in non-work related activities, and as a result improving morale.
Medical providers have the skill set to triage between injuries that might need a more immediate medical intervention vs injuries that are less emergent and can be treated more conservatively.
Physical therapists have the skill set to quickly and accurately assess the source ,vs the site, of many work related injuries. Through comprehensive movement, biomechanical, and neurological evaluation, physical therapy can provide more concise treatment to the origin of an injury.
Leveraging the two medical professions can make a smooth and comprehensive experience for the injured worker as well as providing clarity to an employer surrounding the work related injury.
The Benefits of Integrating Physical Therapy and Occupational Medicine – Prognosis
A cohesive team approach between the medical providers and physical therapy staff is vital to achieve the maximal benefit of integrating the two services in the Occupational Medicine world. Accurate diagnosing is the first step in this process.
Not only will an accurate diagnosis direct the most effective care plan for the injured worker, it will also produce a quicker recovery from injury reducing medical cost incurred by the employer.
However, injuries requiring surgical intervention will almost always be more expensive than the non-surgical injury. That being said, effective physical therapy integration with Occupational Medicine can still reduce long-term cost in surgical cases.
A pre-operative physical therapy evaluation will identify compensations along with other limitations and dysfunctions co-existing with the current injury. Subsequent physical therapy treatment will address the findings, thus minimizing musculoskeletal dysfunctions and maximizing ROM prior to surgery.
Pre-operative physical therapy can set up the injured worker with an improved postoperative starting point. With less co-existing issues postoperative the injured worker will now be provided an opportunity for a less impeded and more complete recovery.
Physical therapy will work closely with the Occupational Medicine providers to monitor an injured worker and progress them as quickly as possible on a case by case basis. Since not all injuries, or people, are created equal, attention to detail and communication between disciplines are essential to comprehensive case resolution.
Having the entire Occupational Medicine team on the same page will provide consistent information to all parties involved. Education on injury and prognosis will create better expectations surrounding injury severity and expected healing time frames. Clear expectations will provide both the employee and employer a piece of mind that the Occupational Medicine team has their best interest in mind.
Integrating Physical Therapy with Occupational Medicine not only improves healing to the injured worker the integration will also manage expectations. Expectation management of the employer and injured employee creates an open and positive healthcare experience allowing all interested parties to feel heard and supported.
Work injuries are stressful and inconvenient. Compcare Occupational Medicine can reduce a portion of the stress surrounding a work injury. Through the seamless integration with the physical therapy department Compcare will manage all expectations, provide top of the line care, and optimize recovery from a work related injury. Click here to start the integration.