By Michelle Despres, PT, CEAS II, REAS, CETS, Vice President of Physical Therapy, One Call
According to a recent Gallup report, U.S. workers are among the most stressed in the world, with 57 percent of U.S. and Canadian workers feeling stressed daily – a percentage that has been on the rise since 20091. Pile on all the uncertainties of living in the era of the pandemic, and it is no surprise just how many of us feel a bit on edge.
Now, imagine on top of the current environment we, as Americans, are facing, you’ve just suffered a serious or catastrophic workplace injury. The stress of the situation could be too much to handle, leading to a mental or emotional breakdown.
As a company dedicated to clinically-based care coordination, One Call understands that physical and psychosocial health are closely intertwined, creating a dynamic that either helps or hinders the recovery process. That’s why we critique our work through the perspective of the injured worker – and the adjuster and/or nurse case manager who supports them – to develop no-nonsense solutions that ease stress and promote peace of mind.
Having a Big Impact Through Simple Changes
When viewed through this lens, success is easier than you might realize. Sometimes all it takes is a simple change in the way a service is delivered.
Take, for instance, physical therapy (PT) – the most common treatment for a workplace injury. Less than a decade ago, PT was mainly offered industry-wide in a traditional in-clinic setting within the confines of the Monday – Friday, typical 8 a.m. – 5 or 6 p.m. workday, making it convenient for therapists but not necessarily injured workers.
Then, telerehab appeared on the scene, and a shift started to occur – an important shift that positioned injured worker convenience as a vital element of a timely, successful recovery.
PT appointments could be scheduled daily between 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. (with more than half of all injured workers choosing evening hours) and taken from the comfort of an injured worker’s home – even if that home was located in a rural setting. The importance of this virtual option became crystal clear in spring 2020 when the industry quickly needed a way to get injured workers care amid canceled appointments and strict social distancing.
Redefining Convenient Care
At One Call alone, we coordinate PT for more than half a million injured workers each year. Today, telerehab remains a critical component of our PT solution, along with traditional in-clinic, workplace onsite, and blended traditional in-clinic/telerehab.
But we were driven to do more. In a world where people are under constant stress, grasping for more hours in the day, and fatigued by the pandemic, how could we go even further to help injured workers breathe a little easier? The answer – bring the clinic to the injured worker.
One Call’s new mobile PT program is currently offered in 31 metropolitan markets across the country, with plans to increase to 51 markets by early 2022. Injured workers are paired with a specialized mobile physical therapist who remains consistent throughout the duration of care. Each therapist goes directly to the injured worker’s home or another convenient location with all the necessary equipment for 45–55-minute personalized sessions that can be booked seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
While the ease of mobile PT can relieve stress for all injured workers, it is especially beneficial for those who have suffered a serious or catastrophic injury. In addition to the mental, emotional, and physical intricacies that often accompany these complex injuries, there’s also logistics to consider. For example, getting an injured worker to a traditional brick-and-mortar PT clinic can be a highly orchestrated, timely ordeal. Mobile PT alleviates all that stress and time spent – no ramps, equipment, or nursing aides to coordinate and no transportation to arrange.
Remaining Mindful of the End User
As our industry continues to advocate for patient-centricity, I encourage all of us to be mindful of the end user in the claims process – the injured worker.
At present, life is challenging even for the most happily employed and healthy of us. Imagine how arduous life must be for injured workers in 2021. While our legacy brick-and-mortar locations will continue to deliver expert care to the majority of injured workers, let’s continue to challenge ourselves – to create and utilize patient-centric, convenient solutions, such as telerehab and mobile PT, that keep stress at bay.
For more information about telerehab, mobile PT, or any of One Call’s PT offerings, email VP of Physical Therapy Michelle Despres at [email protected].
One Call is a WorkCompWire ad partner.
This is NOT a paid placement.
1Liu, J. (2021, June 15). U.S. workers are among the most stressed in the world, new Gallup report finds. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/15/gallup-us-workers-are-among-the-most-stressed-in-the-world.html