10:44 pm December 5, 2018

Specialist or Generalist?
Picking a Workplace Injury Prevention Partner

Source: Kevin Schmidt

In a recent blog post on Managed Care Matters, Joe Paduda, principal of Health Strategy Associates, recently provided an opposing point of view on a recent assertion:

That there is a trend away from specialized vendors to vendors who offer integrated services.

He goes on to say: “I don’t’ see any supporting evidence for this assertion.”

Joe cites One Call as an example of it not working out.  He also notes the success of companies that specialize, including bill review firm Conduent, physical medicine management company MedRisk (HSA consulting client) and DME/Home Health provider HomeCare Connect.

He notes:

“There are many reasons for this – which I’ve explored in past posts in mind-numbing detail – but the core issue is the same as in any other industry – doing one thing really, really well is hard enough. Doing several things really well is damn near impossible.”

As a company who specializes in workplace injury prevention, we thought it raised some really important points about the value of deep expertise.  With 28 years under our belt, we firmly believe that the knowledge gained is what produces results for our clients.  And we work with some big companies.

If you’re debating about using a specialist or a broad services company for injury prevention, here are some areas where deep expertise really pays off.

Protocols proven to work. 

Multiple protocols exist to treat an injury.  Physical therapists who specialize in “evidence-based” protocols get better results, because data supports that the protocols work.

A specialty in occupational therapy.

The reality is that a work injury is different from a sports injury. While you can take a break from a  sport, employees need to work and that means different needs for treatment, a transition plan and a return to work plan.

The combination of treatment and prevention.

Treatment is a short-term fix.  When your prevention partner offers in-depth knowledge of treatment, prevention practices and ergonomics, that’s what stops future injuries.

An emphasis on outcome data.

Data isn’t always easy to get, but it is incredibly important for results.  A vendor who knows how to use your data offers a big benefit: pinpointing what needs attention and what doesn’t. And that translates into optimal use of your budget.

Specialists in building relationships with your team.

There’s a strong trend toward onsite injury prevention programs.  Why?  PTs trained in this area know how to become part of the team.  They create trust with employees and supervisors, coordinating recovery and also providing advice on prevention right at the work site.

As you wrap up 2019 planning, we would be happy to offer our deep insight on any or all of these areas.  In fact, we offer a data model that combines your data with field-tested data (70,000 visits, 5 years) to identify what services offer the biggest impact.  To learn more, contact WorkWell.

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