Creative case management, US style, was the theme of a talk by Professor Barbara Burgel, clinical professor and adult nurse practitioner, University of California.
The components of a case management system are care, co-ordination and communication, she said, with the goal being a "timely return to work using the workplace as a part of the rehabilitation process".
The key challenges for occupational health, she said, were determining who can return to work after an injury, who cannot physically work but wants to, and those who can work but don't want to, the latter "strangle factor" being all too familiar to those working in occupational health on either side of the Atlantic.
During the presentation, Barbara Burgel reviewed the primary, secondary and tertiary strategies used in the process. She cited some interesting "red flags for delayed recovery", and gave an example of an injured worker whose insurance policy covered his mortgage disability plan.
A case study from Burgel's work with immigrant workers was used to illustrate the application of case management strategies.