Consultation with Physicians & Health Care Providers

Over my career, I have conducted hundreds of consultations with health care providers related to their patient’s readiest for return to work, and treatment plans.   Most of the treatment plans I have monitored are physical therapy, occupational therapy, work conditioning, work hardening pain management programs, and cognitive rehabilitation programs.

During a consultation,  it is important to ask the health care provider about all medical conditions and what impact they might have on the patient’s ability to recover from an illness or injury.

At a consultation, I am prepared with a list of questions designed:

  • To elicit objective medical findings,
  • To assess the patient’s motivation to comply with the health care providers
  • To obtain approximate time lines for treatment prescriptions
  • To have the health care provider complete a physical or cognitive capacities evaluation form, and review job analyses of occupational options for the patient.

 

The physical capacities evaluation format is fairly standard across the variety of vocational rehabilitation systems.  In situations where it is appropriate, to discuss mental health issues or cognitive issues due to brain injury and/or post-traumatic stress disorder, other questions regarding cognitive functioning can be asked regarding:

  • memory,
  • attention/concentration,
  • organizational skills,
  • speed of performance,
  • perceptual accuracy,
  • initiation skills, motor skills,
  • listening skills,
  • frustration tolerance,
  • communication skills,
  • level of supervision needed,
  • environmental distractions

 

Medical records review can be done  at any stage of the vocational rehabilitation process, as well as in conjunction with a vocational second opinion  review.  Information to be gleaned in the medical records, which is important for vocational rehabilitation counselors are the following:

  • primary/secondary diagnoses (related and non-related to an accepted claim condition)
  • hospitalizations
  • operative procedures
  • medications
  • treatment team
  • consultations/second opinions and recommendations
  • invasive procedures
  • post hospitalization treatment
  • complications
  • vocational issues
  • outcomes of legal proceedings/review