Inspiration drives people to do incredible things, sometimes atypical things. On rare occasions, inspiration moves people at their core and activates behavior, and belief, that is uncharacteristic for them. Every four years, inspiration mobilizes millions of citizens in this nation to rally behind just a handful of individuals they believe will – well, inspire them.
Religious institutions, non-profits (educational, health-based, political, etc.) and private-sector marketing firms successfully weaponize the influence of inspiration to recruit the support and investment needed to accomplish their defined missions. In fact, the most successful sales organizations build their empires on a foundation of inspiration, injecting their representatives with copious amounts of the addictive euphoria.
If inspiration is indeed such a powerful conduit of action, is there a constructive role that it can play in the world of workers’ compensation? A world sustained by broken bodies, often clouded by defeated morale, and in rare cases, seized by bankrupt character.
Study after study, piles upon piles of scientific data, has verified the reality that non-physiological (psychosocial) elements have a significant impact on return to function from physiological injury/illness. While Payers, Providers, Regulators, Employers, and Lawyers debate over the appropriateness, and medical necessity of treatment protocols designed to address the physiological, the psychosocial often lies unobserved leading the patient down a path rich with sedation, yet poor with functional improvement.
Sitting in a crowded convention center, with 2,000 other suits, I was recently inspired by a panel comprised of a two-term American President, a forward-thinking healthcare provider/leader from Baltimore, and two recovering Rx drug addicts. Their pilgrimage to health provoked a strong belief of an alternate workers’ compensation reality; a reality where the collective efforts of stakeholders/shareholders in the system could actually help usher injured/ill people back to function and productive endeavor and reverse an epidemic that proves to be more proficient at killing than motor vehicle accidents, and firearms.
I wonder to myself, could this same sort of inspiration help propel the motivation-starved, the broken in body and in mind, back to a productive life following a workplace injury or illness?
How would the hard-working cabinet assembler, father of four, primary bread-winner, with three severed fingers (who experiences constant pain because he refuses to ingest the prescription narcotics) respond to inspiration?
Maybe I’m sensationalizing; maybe not…