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Enhancing Post-Surgery Success with Occupational Rehabilitation

There is a noticeable gap in the field of occupational rehabilitation that highlights unmet needs for those who are suffering from an injury and are about to undergo surgery. This gap is marked by the absence of comprehensive surgery support tailored to individuals who are about to have surgery that could lead to better return to work (RTW) outcomes.

The Surgery Works program of Rehabilitation Services by Altius, an innovative initiative thoughtfully crafted to provide essential referral support to individuals before surgery, aims to bridge this gap. Surgery Works includes surgery support services such as recovery timeframes, treatment options, worksite assessment, and the preparation of suitable duties.

It serves as a strategic intervention for timely RTW and fills a gap in occupational rehabilitation.

Strategic Planning for Surgery

The cornerstone of effective occupational rehabilitation lies in meticulous planning before surgery and, therefore, early referral. Through meeting with the worker with the injury and their treating physician before surgery, all documentation, recovery timeframes, treatment options, and additional referrals that will be required post-surgery can be obtained and managed by the rehabilitation consultant. This proactive approach to injury management minimises the potential for developing barriers and maximises speedy recovery, including return to work post-surgery.

Benefits of Early Referral

1. Establishment of Return-to-Work Goals
By preparing workers for surgery and assisting them with their post-surgery recovery, treatment can be aligned with achieving capabilities related to work duties. This ensures that workers can return to work as soon as possible, with minimal delays in treatment approval or process.

2. Timely Plan Development and Streamlined Treatment Approval
The earlier the referral is received before surgery, the greater the opportunity for timely plan development and service provision such as: 
·    Pre-surgical Activities of Daily Living (ADL) assessments 
·    Sourcing services and equipment 
·    Confirming treatment and timeframes from surgeons 
·    Establishing the availability of suitable duties.

Employers can also be educated about post-surgery expectations, which can help to ensure that workers can return to work in a timely manner.

3. Positive Worker Perception
An early assessment of the worker’s return to work goal can be established with accountable timeframes in place. This initiative could result in a potential change in worker attitude to recovery and accountability of timeframes for return to work. Workers respond positively to a support structure provided around surgery knowing that interventions and treatment that may be required will be delivered on time.

Post-Surgery Rehabilitation, Return to Work Plans, and Measuring Success  

When surgery has been completed and the goal has been confirmed, the occupational rehabilitation service provider can:

  • Develop a return-to-work plan upon approval from the insurer
  • Establish an immediate suitable duties plan, and
  • Commence case management with the worker.
The success of early intervention can be measured in terms of:
  Reduced time loss following surgery
  Increased worker and employer satisfaction from the service and support provided by the insurer 
  Improved recovery timeframes 
  Improved return-to-work rates with reduced claims costs 
Cost benefits realised through earlier RTW versus claims without intervention

By providing these services, occupational rehabilitation providers, like Rehabilitation Services by Altius, can help workers with an injury prepare for surgery and assist them with their post-surgery recovery. Altius Group streamlines the handling of cases involving workers with injuries who need surgery by providing tailored, end-to-end premium occupational rehabilitation services nationally.
Before surgery, Rehabilitation Services works proactively with workers and their treating physicians to make sure that knowledgeable rehabilitation consultants handle all essential referrals, recovery planning, and paperwork. This strategy reduces possible obstacles, expedites approval for treatment, and quickens the recuperation period following surgery, enabling a prompt return to work. 
If you need help with pro-active injury management in occupational rehabilitation, contact our consultants for a complete solution that not only improves a wounded worker’s recuperation journey but also streamlines treatment procedures to guarantee an effective return to work result.
Call 1800 258 487 to enquire about tailored solutions for your needs.


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