Lissette Carcano, workers’
compensation care coordinator, Valley
Health, once volunteered to be a
patient during a drill.
“I was an ER patient locked in a
room with a nurse. You shake in your
boots. It becomes real, but I felt very
comfortable with the nurse,” she said.
The larger drill takes a year to plan.
Valley must get EMS, fire rescue and
local law enforcement on board before
enacting an active shooter drill. Instead
of Coss acting as the perpetrator, the
police volunteer an officer to enter the
selected facility holding a red gun to
indicate that it is fake.
Sometimes, Schultz added, they
will use simulation rounds, or training
ammunition. In these instances, the
fake gun makes a loud sound — similar
to the sound of a real gun being fired
— but the ammunition is fake and
“It’s scary for the employees, but
they have an opportunity to handle the
situation in a relatively safe way,” said
“We’re looking at patient safety and
employee safety like never before.”
ALIGNING COMP PHILOSOPHIES
The biggest challenge Valley faced
was aligning each individual nurse case
manager with the new philosophy for
safety and security. Before, Schultz
said, each nurse had their own way of
providing care to injured workers. To
get workers back safely and efficiently,
Valley knew it had to set one standard
The Workers’ Compensation
Care Coordinator role was created
to oversee the entire workers’ comp
process, guaranteeing that the quality
and type of care was uniform across the
Valley network. This role, according to
Schultz, was pivotal for the success of
the workers’ comp program.
“I needed someone who was kind,
compassionate but firm. Someone who
could manage with consistency,” said
Schultz. Carcano fit the bill.
“She’s one of the best I’ve ever
seen,” said Cari Burhenne, regional
claims service manager, PMA
Carcano entered Valley and
provided the adjusters with what they
needed while continuing to care for
each worker, Burhenne explained.
Valley’s philosophy used to be “
full-duty or no duty.” Carcano worked to
get injured workers into temporary
duty roles suitable for them while they
recovered, and thanks to her return-to-work advocacy, Valley’s lost-time claims
decreased from 171 per year to 79.
“The focus on return to work, I
think, is number one in what reduced
Valley’s overall claims costs,” said
“Valley is very invested in doing
what’s right for their employees.
There’s the business sense but also that
sense of caring for their employees. It’s
a great combination.”
When a worker is injured on the
job, Schultz and Carcano have worked
hard to get their employees seen
by physicians and other health care
providers as quickly as possible.
“The way Barbara and Lissette
established great relationships with
physicians has made the [workers’
comp] process streamlined and
effective; it’s very expeditious,” said
Carey. “They are looking for the best
care for employees and patients.”
The health care system also
implemented a full-scale safe patient
handling program, overhauled its
dining and environmental services
safety committees and implemented
health awareness among its employees.
Carey added, “When our employees
are healthy and safe at work, our
patients benefit.” &
AUTUMN HEISLER is a staff writer for
Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at
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