Care for Catastrophic Workers
A Team-Based Care Approach for the Catastrophically Injured Worker
A catastrophic injury is “a serious injury that results in severe and long term effect to the individual who sustains it.” The top five catastrophic work-related injuries treated include: spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, burns, and multiple traumas.
At Landmark Hospitals, we provide care to workers’ compensation patients who have been stabilized at a trauma center or other short-term acute care hospital, but still need additional specialized care. A Specialty Hospital, such as Landmark, evaluates and admits the injured worker and begins to navigate the healing journey to recovery.
Our primary focus at Landmark is providing patient-centered, cost-effective care with identified, desired endpoints, which can be incredibly challenging and yet immensely rewarding.
Our team-based care model begins with active collaboration that:
- Identifies which individual skills are most critical to patient success at each stage
- Becomes a foundation and a live process to constantly evolve and change based on success and setbacks
- Utilizes the core experience of the team as well as the individual talents of team members
- Is communicated to, and agreed upon by all shareholders including patients, families, and the worker’s catastrophic case manager
- Includes daily communication to address the frequent changes in the condition of the newly injured.
Team members assess each patient individually and develop treatment plans for each specific patient, indicating who will proactively need to be engaged and at what point during the treatment process. At Landmark Hospital, those services would include:
- Daily coverage as needed by a qualified intensivist, and multi-specialty physicians including Pulmonology, Infectious Disease, Nephrology, Wound Care, Psychiatry, Neurology, Plastics, Optometry, and Surgery
- Therapies including PT, OT, SLP, RT, Neurocognitive and/or Neurobehavioral, Adaptation, Pharmaceutical, Registered Dietician, and Social Work
- Registered Nurses with ACLS training who are capable of caring for all components of catastrophic injuries and able to perform codes on-site as needed.
- Appropriate equipment such as state-of-the-art Hamilton Ventilators™ which allow the intubated patient to speak, Veriflo™ irrigating wound vacs, Tablo™ dialysis machines, and all other devices thoughtfully incorporated into daily treatments.
Our team-based care includes a “no-egos,” all-hands-on-deck approach. Physical therapy may need to interact with the patient daily for longer sessions while occupational therapy appears as co-treatment. Speech and respiratory therapists work together on ventilated patients or airway impairments to progress patients aggressively but safely, while swallowing abilities are evaluated. Neurocognitive therapy coaches the entire team on effective modalities for communication not only with the patient, but with each other. Pharmacy collaborates with dieticians and physician providers to evaluate formulary and non-formulary solutions to tube feeding, pain management, and infection control.
Neuropsychologists often work with social workers to determine opportunities for adaptation and participation in family meeting updates. The Workers’ Compensation case manager plays a key role in the collaborative experience and guides the team to desired endpoints. He/she meets with the treatment team either remotely or on-site as often as desired to provide guidance and advice regarding treatment interventions or equipment needs such as DME, as well as ongoing plans for the next stage of catastrophic injury management.
Navigating the recovery of the catastrophically injured worker from the moment the patient is referred to Landmark Hospitals and eventually to a community-based setting or lower level of care provider requires a great deal of collaborative effort and experience. Our team-based care approach provides real-time measurement of outcomes to facilitate the next set of recovery goals and leads to remarkable success stories for catastrophically injured workers and families.