The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) and the University of Washington (UW) Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center have formed a partnership to create a Center of Excellence that will provide focused help for workers who need care for traumatic on-the-job amputations. Workers with amputations can have their ongoing medical care managed by UW Medicine physicians and staff at the new center.
“We want these catastrophically injured workers to know that we’re going to be there for them,” said Joel Sacks, director of L&I. “By improving the coordination of care, workers with amputations can concentrate on recovery and not feel overwhelmed with details.”
The injured worker will leave the hospital with a discharge plan that coordinates follow-up appointments with specialists. The physicians and care coordinators at the Center of Excellence will communicate with all of the worker’s healthcare providers, as well as with his or her employer and L&I. L&I employees will manage catastrophic claims; they will coordinate with UW Medicine and the staff at hospitals where workers are initially treated. L&I is also improving computer systems that will make it easier to track care for serious injuries and streamline the timing of other services, such as evaluations for prosthetic devices.
“The new Center of Excellence for Amputations will reinforce our touchstone role in bringing the best available trauma care to Washington’s citizens,” said Janna Friedly, MD, director of UW Medicine Rehabilitation Amputee Program at Harborview Medical Center. “We commend Labor and Industries for leading the way on paying for care coordination.”