Initiative of the Year - Provider - Human Focus Return to Work

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Human Focus Return to Work was praised by the judges in particular for its work training frontline staff on both the defendant and claimant side, as it picked up the award for Rehabilitation Initiative of the Year - Provider.

After three years' research, Human Focus adopted a computer-based cognitive behavioural therapy approach for the management of whiplash-associated disorders. The approach recognised that clinical evidence supports the view that such injuries are not serious and are self-healing in nature, and that the best route to recovery is to be active in the process and participate in appropriate exercise.

Human Focus developed a pragmatic and holistic approach, starting with claim capture at the insurer or claimant solicitor level and working in a bottom-up manner through service delivery and ultimately treatment management.

Called Physiolite, the initiative is a combination of technological innovation with evidence-based medical practice, and was launched in the first quarter of 2006. The key elements of Physiolite were training of front line claims staff - both claimant and defendant - in the biopyschosocial model and their role with the rehabilitation service; a basic screening or triage tool for claims handlers to identify individuals who would benefit from rehabilitation; a flexible range of treatment packages to accommodate individual patients' needs; an e-learning and therapy package called Physio-online; real-time web-based feedback and management reporting tools detailing client progress; transparent pricing and working agreements to facilitate early access and lower treatment costs; and a robust assessment and case management model for cases requiring additional support.

According to Human Focus, a key part of the process is the implementation of an open approach to rehabilitation, facilitating lower costs, shorter claims cycles, quicker access to treatment and improved service to claimants.

As part of its approach, Human Focus developed a short screening questionnaire to identify cases suitable for rehabilitation. Following initial capture and screening, referrals are received electronically and Human Focus rehabilitation advisers conduct a clinical triage and introduce the service. In excess of 90% of cases are successfully triaged within 24 hours.

Following this, clients are offered one of four treatment options - Physio-online; Physio Plus; case review; or self management. Royal and Sun Alliance has, for example, employed Human Focus' web-based physiotherapy.

FINALISTS 2007
- Human Focus Return to Work
- Provision Solutions
- Reach.

WINNING WORDS

Andrew Pemberton, managing director, said: "I am delighted that Human Focus has been awarded Rehabilitation Initiative of the Year for Providers. It is an honour to be recognised by the industry for our longstanding commitment to delivering high quality vocational rehabilitation services. I believe that PhysioLite is truly innovative and will help shape the future delivery of fast-track rehabilitation services. Winning will certainly inspire us to deliver even greater innovations in the future."

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