The MedRisk Blog
When it comes to the rehabilitation of injured workers, it’s safe to assume that providing education in advance of treatment can improve the patient experience and may even improve patient satisfaction. But can it actually impact patient outcomes?
According to recent research, patients who felt they were well educated in advance of their procedures—knew what to expect, were prepared for and followed postprocedure instructions—were 33 percent more satisfied with the results, experienced 19 percent fewer problems and reported a much higher level of contentment. They also had fewer readmissions indicating faster, smoother recoveries, and potentially lower costs.
That’s why MedRisk offers patient education in advance of treatment along with driving directions and appointment reminders. And these aren’t services we’ve outsourced or sent overseas. We’ve seen first-hand that by integrating patient advocacy into our managed physical medicine and diagnostic imaging program, all stakeholders – patients, employers, payers, case managers and providers – can benefit.
Our US-based call center of patient advocates plays a critical role in helping injured workers through a new and sometimes confusing experience. MedRisk’s patient advocacy program combines written educational materials on common procedures with convenient scheduling and one-on-one guidance, available in both English and Spanish. This includes helping patients find the right provider for their injury type. From there, we talk our patients through what they can expect in the weeks ahead, field calls and queries, provide driving directions when needed, text them prior to their appointment and check-in to reschedule if key appointments are missed.
And, while our patient advocates work to make front-end scheduling easier for injured workers, our customer advocates are proactively connecting with the provider, adjuster and case manager, securing progress updates and treatment notes – all to ensure we’ve done everything we can to set the injured worker up for success.
MedRisk not only maintains a set of evidence based treatment guidelines to ensure quality and consistency for the care delivered across our clinical network, we also recognize the integral role our advocates play in the recovery process and set a high bar for our service standards. Because our advocates are trusted with an important role and handle protected health information in their daily responsibilities, all agents are college educated and go through a thorough vetting and training process, including a background check and education on how to appropriately handle patient materials in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
With our call center operations as an integrated component of our workflows, our agents are able to follow the journey of the injured worker across the care continuum. Leveraging this informed perspective, customer advocates are well equipped to apply evidence-based treatment guidelines to identify when a patient’s recovery has veered off course and to recognize when peer-to-peer provider coaching may benefit the patient and the claims manager. In these cases, the advocate calls upon one of our on-staff physical therapists, nurses or radiologists – who then examines the case file, consults with the provider and makes evidence-based recommendations.
It is through this integrated US-based support model that we have been able to facilitate communication and leverage collaboration to foster a mission-driven team and deliver streamlined and exact service to our customers.
At MedRisk, we know rehabilitation isn’t only a physical process, and factors impacting recovery aren’t just confined to the clinic. Showing patients how to do a given exercise won’t guarantee that they will do it at home and scheduling appointments doesn’t mean they will show up for them. That’s why this type of integrated support is so critical.
Our patient advocates are there to help injured workers fit rehab into their everyday lives, and to foster accountability in the process. Our customer advocates facilitate communications between busy case managers, adjusters and providers, engaging on-staff clinical experts to ensure patients have everything they need to get better fast.
The road to recovery is not always straightforward, but we’re here to see patients through each leg of their journey, lend a hand in clearing any hurdles, and ultimately, help them reach the finish line.
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