Partnerships: the key to achieving high quality care in workers’ comp

By Dr. Stephen Woods, BWC Chief Medical Officer

DrStephenWoodsOn arrival at BWC as Chief Medical Officer in 2012, it was like the proverbial “drinking water from a fire hose” with respect to the amount and complexity of information.  Medical school prepares you for that kind of processing, but it was still a challenge. Early on though, opportunities for improvement in health care delivery became apparent.  In working with the medical team, one of the ideas was to create more of a partnership with physicians to reach a common goal of high quality of care.

Different systems approach the challenges of achieving quality of care in different ways.  Lately, some of the more popular methods used by others have been to offer a stick, a carrot, or both.  At BWC, we’ve taken the partnership route. Although we’re raising the bar on expectation of physicians of record, we’re also providing them with the tools to meet those expectations.  For example, CMEs are a necessary requirement for licensure, but the process can be expensive and time consuming.  Our Medical & Health Symposium offered 13.5 CMEs in a cost effective (free) and convenient (central local in home state) venue.

The symposium ran in conjunction with BWC’s annual Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC), which offered an ideal opportunity to collaborate with physicians. Medical education has been provided at OSC in various forms over the years.  We started to enhance offerings three years ago.  Last year, with the help of the OSC planning committee, we put together a full day of medical lectures focused on provider education.  This year, we’ve branded the offerings to begin the first in a series of Annual Medical and Health Symposiums. It turned out to be two-day event focusing on topics that align with BWC’s initiatives. Two tracks were offered to address improving care in the areas of pain management and neuromusculoskeletal management.

symp comboThe Medical & Health Symposium helped drive record breaking attendance at the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo. Although we’re awaiting the formal feedback from participants through electronic surveys, members of the planning committee were approached by participants who were very pleased with their experience as far as the subject matter, the quality of the content and speakers, and the overall organization of the program.

We were pleased to have a diverse group of dynamic speakers from across the state and country who each also happen to specialize in more than one discipline. Comments so far have been that their lectures were very engaging and high quality.

We’re already looking to next year’s symposium and hope to build on the success of this year’s event. Stay tuned for dates.

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