TELEMEDICINE HAS GROWN MOREpopular over the past few months as physicians utilized new methods to connectwith and diagnose their patients in thewake of the COVID- 19 shutdowns. However, even before these changes becamenecessary, many employers and medicaloffices found that virtual appointmentsdelivered another alternative to providingcare for some patients.
Physicians, nurses and other medicalpersonnel can triage patients and the carethey require, provide follow-up treatmentas needed, and identify complicationsrequiring further attention. For injuredworkers, this type of support can expeditetheir recovery and the ability to resumetheir responsibilities.
By Patricia L. Harman
The Rise of
Telemedicine inWorkers’ Comp
“When an injured employee suffers aserious or complex injury, nurses can bea valuable resource to promote recoveryand return to work,” says Jennifer Cog-bill, vice president, GBCARE at Gallagher Bassett. “What has changed duringthe COVID- 19 pandemic is how nursesengage with the employee. With the disruption in traditional medical care, we’veseen surgeries postponed or canceled.
Physician visits and physical therapy haveeither been postponed or moved to virtual visits. This can significantly impactrecovery and delay return to work. In addition to attending virtual or telephonicvisits with providers, nurses also provided critical support by offering alternative strategies for recovery and ensuringthe worker is physically ready for surgerywhen we return to normal.”