Communication builds community: The importance of bilingual case management


Meet Juanita Rios, MA, CRC, Field Case Manager

Having been a case manager for seven years, Juanita Rios’ skillset and passion for what she does not only helps injured employees return to work, but ensures their voices are heard throughout the process. As a bilingual case manager, Juanita often hears that Spanish speaking injured employees feel dismissed by medical providers. She is honored to empower patients by creating a safe space for them to freely express themselves.

“Thank you for allowing me to share this success story — it is one for the books!”

The injured employee

In July 2023, a worker named Diego* lost two fingers when checking a lawn mower. He used an alias when being admitted to the hospital, forgot where they were treated, and only spoke Spanish. Juanita received this file two weeks post amputation, and the emergency department report was still pending. Due to the lack of information and post-operative care, Juanita immediately dove into investigative work.

The process

As a bilingual speaker, Juanita explained to Diego that they must work together to locate their surgeon and conduct a thorough interview. Fortunately, Diego was still on antibiotics and was able to read Juanita the medication name as well as the name of the provider who prescribed it — giving her the information she needed to identify the surgeon. Juanita called the surgeon’s office, advocated for Diego to be seen immediately due to lack of post op care, and they scheduled an appointment for two days after the initial phone call.

The solution

Diego and Juanita did not miss a single appointment with the surgeon. She was in constant contact with the injured employee since the day she received the file — promoted treatment compliance and eliminated the language barrier. Diego returned to work full duty in September 2023 and his anticipated maximum medical improvement was confirmed at his next office visit in October 2023.

Due to Juanita’s elimination of the language barrier, this case moved forward without delay. Bilingual case managers are much needed in the workers’ compensation industry to foster trust with injured employees and perform duties seamlessly and proudly.

Learn more

View Juanita Rios’ full spotlight, here.

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The power of choice.

May 14, 2024