When you think of your athletic organization and what makes up your healthcare team, what specific roles come to mind? Who do you need to make the systems run smoothly and keep your athletes healthy?
Your team is likely comprised of six core roles; physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, coaches, internal and external healthcare consultants and, of course, the athlete.
Within this collective group, who manages your organizations healthcare education and standards? Who’s administrative responsibility is it to ensure this education takes place and who tracks this compliance?
If you’re scratching your head at this point, you’re in the right place.
In athletic departments, “blind spots” often sit in the area of athlete healthcare and safety until something catastrophic occurs – You’re not alone!
Ownership and leadership over this area is vital. That means dedicating a role specifically to healthcare and safety.
Still stumped on what to do next? Start here:
ESTABLISH AN EDUCATION AND TRACKING SYSTEM
Paralysis from an overwhelming feeling of ‘where to start’ is common for such a delicate subject as athletic healthcare. However, every organization must establish a system for education of the members of your healthcare team. Moreover, every organization must establish a system for keeping record of and certifying compliance for these education sessions.
When has your organization last educated your athletes on heat illness? When has your organization last educated your employees on identifying disordered eating or mental health conditions? The need for education of your medical staff, coaches, athletes, administrators, parents, etc. has never been greater. Further, the need for tracking this education to reduce litigation has never been more critical.
Now that you have acknowledged that you must establish this system for healthcare education and compliance for your organization, it’s time to keep up with it. Assigning this responsibility to one of your employees can look like a pre-season checklist of “must complete” activities (including education and compliance) for both your athletes and your healthcare team.
This task can seem overwhelming.
However, just as you would collaborate with an independent consultant with delicate healthcare cases, you can collaborate with and independent consultant in the area of education and compliance tracking.
The US Council for Athletes Health (USCAH) can assist with providing you these expert resources. Learn more at uscah.com/about