issue 013, 2020

Crisis care

Focusing on what matters most after a catastrophe

BY Andrea Buhl, MSN, RN, FNP-BC Managing Director, Clinical Operations, Sedgwick

In the midst of a catastrophic event, employers aren’t thinking about everything they’ll need to do after the fact. They’re busy thinking about the safety of their workers. About the mental well-being of their employees who have experienced a trauma. About how to care for the immediate needs of their team, while keeping their business running.

Where, then, can employers find specialized, clinical expertise in the aftermath of a workplace tragedy? A program that brings together all available services to address complex clinical needs — through a singular touchpoint — can help ensure everyone involved receives the guidance and support they need. A crisis care program, with its end-to-end solutions, provides access to specialized resources that will assist employers and claims professionals through any complex event, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

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A tangible need
It’s an unfortunate fact, but the world we live in today necessitates such a service — crisis events have become an overarching, universal issue. We’re seeing more workplace violence than at any point in history. More extreme weather. More catastrophic injuries and complex clinical situations. As a result, there’s a tremendous amount of information to gather and resources to coordinate. Timing is important, as is thinking about the total well-being of the individuals involved.

A crisis care program will bring in a specially trained nurse to assess the situation, including the needs of injured employees, their families, affected coworkers and the employer, and coordinate the response. They will deploy the appropriate resources, such as on-site nurse case managers, physician advisors, on-site mental health experts and specialized medical equipment experts, and will stay on until the impacted individuals — and the situation — is considered stable.

In a catastrophe that involves an amputation, for example, crisis care can offer a more specialized, proactive approach by quickly providing resources for durable medical equipment. The crisis care nurse engages specialized medical equipment experts early on to assess the injury, provide equipment recommendations and ensure delivery at the right time in the recovery process.

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Care when it matters most
Through the Sedgwick crisis care program, we have helped clients during some of their most critical times. Here are just a few of our stories.

A traumatic brain injury. A client reached out to the Sedgwick crisis care team when one of its employees suffered a traumatic brain injury on the job. The injured worker was on a ventilator and would need coordination to transfer to an appropriately equipped rehabilitation facility. Our crisis care nurse provided a list of Centers of Excellence for his care and contacted the worker’s family to provide an additional layer of support. He’s currently continuing his rehabilitation and is on the road to recovery.

A frightening fall. An employee sustained traumatic leg injuries from a fall. After a difficult rescue, the worker’s left leg up to the hip joint was amputated; there was additional trauma to the right leg which was subsequently amputated as well. The crisis care nurse dispatched a field case manager to the hospital within an hour to assess the injuries, manage the case and provide support to the family. She also engaged specialized medical equipment experts to proactively identify medical equipment needs for this type of amputation, and reached out to the injured worker’s family to provide an additional layer of support. After some time with an inpatient rehabilitation unit for prosthetic training, the injured worker transitioned from hospital, to inpatient rehabilitation, to home in just three months.

Gun violence. When two employees were shot during a store robbery, a client contacted our crisis care team for evaluation and triage. After a quick investigation, the crisis care nurse was able to locate the employees under trauma aliases in the hospital and track their progression; both were admitted and had successful surgeries.

Specialized and proactive support
Employers who implement a crisis care program have the comfort of knowing a specially trained nurse is available to ensure their employees and other impacted individuals get the care they need, when they need it most. By aligning these resources in advance, there’s a measure of reassurance that you are prepared if a catastrophic event occurs; one call prompts a coordinated crisis response and sets appropriate resources into action.

The good news is, if your organization uses Sedgwick’s field case management program, you already have access to our crisis care services. To learn more about the program or to enroll, reach out to your Sedgwick client services director.

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