|It is well documented that the longer someone is in poor health, the harder it is to accomplish these goals. Historically, patients were not referred for functional restoration until all other traditional medical care had been exhausted. We were often seen as a “last resort” in the lineage of care provided. For our patients from 2007 through 2012, the average length of disability was three to five years from the date of injury. Many had undergone multiple surgeries and were habituated to medicines that were rarely in their best interest. We developed our original programs to successfully treat this population. Still, it has been our hope that with continued education to patients and payers that we become an integral part of the initial medical care plan. We feel strongly that with early intervention we can prevent the onset of chronic impairment and avoid unnecessary medical procedures or expenditures.
There currently exists screening tools to identify those patients who might not do as well with traditional medical care. These screening tools can be used at the
|onset of an injury and the patient so identified can be given more specialized care. Our Work Hardening Program is designed to treat patients within the first year of an injury. The earlier we can become involved, the easier and less costly it is to make real and lasting changes for patients. By combining physical rehabilitation, drug detoxification and education in healthy alternatives with medications for pain control, patients can gain control of their pain, and return to a meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle.
In healthcare, how often do we say, “I wish I could have prevented that from happening.” Here we have a clear choice and alternative to offer patients who might be better treated outside of the typical doctor’s office. Patients do have an alternative to chronic narcotics, endless prescriptions for physical therapy, or repetitive injections or surgeries. By providing high quality, focused, integrated health care early, we can positively change the outcome for many people. The key is early intervention.