Assessment Tools for Concussions

As there is more awareness of the dangers of concussions, particularly when playing sports, most now realize that concussions have to be assessed early and that proper follow-up care is necessary. As a result, there are now several assessment tools available for the amateur, scholastic and professional level of athletes.

The following are some of the diagnostic and assessment tools now being used:

– The C3Logix system is an assessment tool that was initially used for research into Parkinson’s disease but is now being used to assess those with concussions. It determines rate of dizziness, balance and visual disturbances. The data is stored in the system, eliminating the guesswork, and makes managing brain injuries, and particularly concussions, easier. Tpad2’s are currently being used along with the C3 system as the assessment tool. A baseline assessment is done on players pre-season so that if there should be a suspected concussion then another follow-up assessment will be done to compare the two assessments in order to determine the degree of the injury. Another assessment may be done during the recovery period to determine rate of injury improvement and another before the player is allowed to return to the game. By doing these types of assessments, it ensures that no player will be allowed to play with any symptoms that have not been resolved. This data collection system assesses the neurocognitive symptoms, balance, reaction times, memory and motor function to determine brain health so that concussions can be better managed. It is portable and accurate and it is able to focus on moving objects and tests athletes at all levels.

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Helping Victims of Strokes

More than 700,000 people suffer from a stroke each year in the United States. Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and the most common cause of long-term disability. One American dies of a stroke every four minutes.

It is thought that sensory stimulation, i.e.: gentle touching of the face and hands, etc., or talking in a soft voice to the person who is suspected of having a stroke may reroute the brain’s blood supply while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. By doing this, it is hoped that the stimulation may assist in keeping cells from dying while a person is experiencing a stroke.

There is also a drug available that breaks up blood clots if it is administered within three hours following a stroke. However, it doesn’t work for everyone and of course, getting help quickly is of paramount importance.

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What It Means To Be In Compliance

Compliance of records is a state standard of record keeping. As a Compliance Officer of records, I need to make sure that staff is following state mandated regulations for clients’ files, whether they are paper records or an electronic medical record (EMR). The state guidelines are for Outpatient Mental Health Clinics (OMHC). Of course there are state guidelines for medical offices and anywhere state funding is involved.The state is quite specific in their guidelines and they typically audit agencies on a random basis. There are specific things they are looking for in records. If this is not done, licensing privileges of the organization are at stake.

If you take on Medicaid clientele, there are also random audits to make sure state funding is appropriated judicially. If not, there are fines for paying back funds delivered if the OMHC withholds the quality of care expected. Many agencies across the United States have had hefty fines for not keeping up with the standard quality of record keeping and care. So it is important, if you work for an OMHC, you adhere to the guidelines set forth by the agency and Compliance Officer. Some Compliance Officers also oversee adherence to financial record keeping ensuring that monies collected are in adherence with standards and that there is no double billing, billing for services not rendered, etc.

In our agency this position is divided. I only deal with the EMR that our agency uses. Prior to the EMR there were no standards in place. It was just assumed everyone knew what was required. Having EMR has made the job easier, but there is the occasional pitfall-catching records prior to the EMR that have not been updated. Overall, the EMR has made the world of compliance easier.

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