Case conferences – getting on the same page
For an injured worker, the thought of getting back to work can seem daunting.
Case conferences are an important stepping stone in alleviating any concerns and helping to plan your patient’s return to work. These face to face meetings create a clear plan for getting the worker back to work in a timely and supported manner, and help align expectations between those involved in the rehabilitation process (general practitioner, patient, employer, insurer and workplace rehabilitation provider).
Your role as a GP is to facilitate the conference, and maintain a focus on early and lasting return to work for your patient. It’s also important that you keep up to date with the development of your patient’s return to work program, to ensure that it reflects how they are progressing with their recovery and to set tasks that will help them meet their return to work goals.
Some helpful tips for running your case conference:
- Note the case conference on your patient’s certificate of capacity in the assessment section.
- Hold the conference at your practice or office. Face-to-face communication encourages engagement and participation, and ensures that everyone is clear about the issues and way forward.
- Allow plenty of time for the conference – ask your patient, their employer and your administration staff to schedule a long appointment (approximately 30 minutes).
- Remember patient confidentiality still applies in case conferences, and external conference participants do not need to be advised of other private medical matters unless the patient agrees to this and those matters are relevant to their return to work.
For more information about injury management and case conferences, click here.