Worker's Compensation and Motor Vehicle Accident Patients
Step 1: After receiving a referral for an assessment we first have to contact the insurance company to arrange for authority to conduct the assessment. Once authority has been received we will then contact you to organise your assessment. While waiting for this authority you may be offered enrolment in our introductory chronic pain educational programme called "STEPs".
Step 2: Patients need to complete the patient consent form and hospital registration form prior to having any appointments organized. The patient consent form will give the patient's consent to send out reports and letters to external treatment providers involved in the patient's care. Examples of these would include insurance companies and rehab providers.
Patients are also asked to complete a set of questionnaires, usually on-line, before they come to their initial assessment. These questionnaires are standard for everyone who attends pain centres in Australia. The questionnaires contribute to the Electronic Persistent Pain Outcome Collaboration, or ePPOC. You can read more about ePPOC here: http://ahsri.uow.edu.au/eppoc/index.html
It is very important that the questionnaires are completed as they are a great help to the triage nurse when deciding who the most appropriate clinicians are for this patient and in providing the clinicians a preliminary understanding of the patient's pain situation.
Step 3: The initial assessment involves meeting with a Doctor, Clinical Psychologist, Nurse and Physiotherapist, where a report is generated. Then they meet together to formulate a treatment plan. The reports and treatment recommendations are then sent to all involved parties, such as the referring doctor, insurance case manager, rehabilitation provider and so on. This comprehensive reporting process ensures that the patient and all involved treating professionals have a clear plan for how treatment can proceed.
A request is also sent to the insurer for authority to treat and once this is approved, treatment appointments can then be organised.
To ensure timely completion of this process, patients are encouraged to have a current referral from their GP and to return their completed questionnaires and forms as soon as possible.