Improving Concussion Protocol with At-Home Baseline Testing
Utica National Insurance Group insures educational institutions countrywide and offers cognitive baseline and post-injury testing to student-athletes at the junior varsity and varsity levels.
Utica National Insurance Group
Utica National is a nationally recognized insurer with 45 years of experience providing coverage, risk management, and claims services to public and private schools.
Resident Senior Vice President, Educational Institutions Unit
Utica National Insurance Group
Utica National started seeing educational institutions think more critically about injuries and their liability with the growing focus on concussions in sports.
The main challenge for schools was finding a scalable way to offer baseline testing without taking away already scarce time from coaches and athletic trainers. Increasing access to resources was becoming both a safety issue for student-athletes and a liability issue for schools.
Choosing validated concussion care tools
Utica National analyzed a variety of concussion assessment tools from the scientific perspective. They wanted school policyholders to feel secure knowing they were using qualified and objective tools that would keep students safe. They also needed to find tools at a good price point that were effective and reliable.
It was ImPACT Applications’ level of experience and industry knowledge that stood out after an extensive review.
“We looked at the experience level of who we would choose to partner with because concussion management is such an important issue. You want to partner with a company that has a great depth of knowledge and experience in the field.”
Utica National’s role in concussion management
Before offering cognitive baseline and post-injury concussion testing to public and private school policyholders, Utica National offered concussion education and risk management support. With the use of online training and seminars, students, teachers, and school administration receive education about concussion safety.
On-site risk management representatives work directly with schools to ensure a concussion protocol is in place and that it is being implemented. They also guide schools in taking the necessary precautions before a student returns to the field or classroom. This includes making sure teachers are aware of a possible concussion and know the signs to look for.
Baseline testing in large groups is a thing of the past
One of the biggest concerns for school administrators was the ease of use when conducting ImPACT baseline testing. Coaches and athletic trainers have full schedules, so they needed a test that was intuitive, quick to learn, and easy to implement.
ImPACT baseline testing delivered on all fronts. Instead of organizing large group testing, coaches and athletic trainers use the ImPACT Applications Customer Center to generate and distribute unique test codes. This feature not only saves time, it allows student-athletes to test at home.
“Offering ImPACT baseline testing with the other protocols and procedures in a package heightens the awareness and reinforces that schools have to be diligent in following up anytime someone has a head injury.”
The future of insurance and concussion management
Utica National is not slowing down any time soon. With the educational institutions program available countrywide that is closing in on $100 million, they will continue to grow.
They see the partnership with ImPACT Applications as an effective way to increase concussion management awareness and making it easier for schools to protect students. The goal is to eventually be in a place where having a strong concussion protocol isn’t an option, it’s a requirement to be insured.
“The first concern is always the safety of the student, but there's also the liability implications if schools don't take the proper action. It all works together."
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