Manager, Blog

10 Myths Of Concussion Management

Can Your Organization Afford to Stay Stuck in the Past? 

Underreporting. 

Paperwork that piles up.

Lack of transparency and certainty in an increasingly complicated process.

The days of sucking it up and hoping for the best are gone. For good reason!

While incredible, evidence-based progress has been made in concussion management, policies are still not being followed. Parents are worried, players are having unfortunate outcomes, and protocols are constantly evolving.

But for those who are in charge of sports organizations, keeping up with these changes and protocols is almost impossible.

Every day, you’re reassuring parents, training volunteers, recruiting coaches, and managing your organization’s requirements. 

And now, you’re coordinating an ever-expanding cast of parents, volunteers, coaches, and players in an increasingly complex process of injury reporting and management. 

You don’t have the time to do it all. 

Your work days are getting longer and longer.

Stop stressing! HeadCheck Manager is a new concussion management platform to implement your policy, improve injured player outcomes, and save you time. 

Skeptical? 

Here’s our responses to ten beliefs and concerns that might be keeping you stuck (even while hoping for a way out of your status quo!)

1. Parents won’t pay additional fees to prevent mismanaged head injuries

Having kids in sports can be expensive, and 7 out of 10 parents are concerned about costs. [1] Why would parents pay even more? 

It turns out parents — at a rate of 9 out of 10 — are even more worried about the risk of injury. [2] So much so that they are willing to pay up to $100 for better tools to protect their children from the long-term effects of head injuries. 

Parents will pay for technology to improve the health of their kids.

2. If we collect data we are potentially exposing ourselves to a lawsuit

Given the number and size of the judgements seen from professional leagues, college down through to high school and youth sports it appears this strategy falls short.

If you can’t prove your volunteers or medical representatives followed concussion guidelines, insurance companies and civil lawyers seemingly expose any negligence.

Having an auditable and verifiable system proving you followed the policy, protocol and best practice is your best chance for a favourable outcome if questions are ever raised, and can potentially lower insurance premiums to boot!

3. We have a paper process that works just fine

Concussions and head injuries are parents’ top concern when it comes to their kids playing sports. [3] 

It’s essential that protocols are executed properly, to keep players safe and put parents at ease

But how do you know your protocols are being followed? 

Can volunteer coaches be expected to simultaneously manage several injuries at one time, and track injured players as they move between teams or when traveling? 

Until now, there hasn’t been an easy or cost-effective way to manage these protocols

Imagine how empowered your volunteers will feel knowing they can report all injuries right from the app. Their gains will translate into gains in your confidence, and increase parents’ trust in your organization.

4. We don’t have many concussions

How many suspected concussions in your organization go unreported? How many athletes are unsafely returned to play in contravention of your protocol? 

Stats in the USA suggest that of the 3.8 million concussions that are reported annually, another 50% go unreported. [4] Having even one improperly managed concussion in your organization each year can be devastating for the athlete and the organization in the long run. [5] 

5. We provide training to all of our volunteers on how to identify and manage concussions

Volunteers are being asked to manage complex responsibilities, including having to make decisions about a player’s health, at moments that are likely to be extremely emotionally charged. 

Adding to the pressure-cooker is the expectation placed on them by players, coaches, and parents to let injured athletes get back in the game. 

The HeadCheck Manager app guides volunteers through the process, eliminating the grey areas and requirement to recall complicated protocols in the heat of the moment. 

6. We use a clinic

Fantastic! But do you have the reliable data clinics need to offer the best care?

It’s either the clinic or a volunteer that collects information at sporting events. If it’s a volunteer, you need to make sure they are providing the clinic with the best information. 

And even if it’s the clinic, it’s the Association’s responsibility to have a record of the incident and be able to prove that a medical clearance note was received before the player returned to play — and often to keep that note on record for 7 years or more. 

It can be tempting to rely on clinics to keep records. But what if the clinic closes or alters its services? It’s imperative to be self-reliant when keeping track of all your records.

We’ve also found that many players aren’t covered by the clinic because they: 

  • have their own medical coverage
  • prefer their own doctor
  • opt-out of the coverage because it’s too expensive 

HeadCheck Manager keeps you covered, regardless of whether your athletes are using your preferred clinic or not.

7. We don’t think it’s a problem

As you are likely aware, insurance companies critically evaluate whether they can continue to provide concussion insurance for amateur sports organizations. 

In our experience, anyone that is on a board or has coached for more than a few years can provide multiple examples of athletes suffering the effects of even one concussion — especially in professional organizations. 

Stats say that 94% of people volunteer in sports organizations to make a difference in the lives of kids. [6] The intent is to help, and promote the ideals of physical activity that end up have profound impacts on individual and social goods, such as:

  • Increasing self-confidence 
  • Reducing anxiety and depression
  • Decreasing obesity 
  • Slowing the trend of overburdening health care systems [7]

Your organization has an opportunity to reflect these highest ideals of sport by adhering to the most up-to-date, evidence-based standards. 

8. Our current system is secure and meets health privacy laws

Most organizations are unaware that transferring any health information via regular email breeches health and privacy regulations.

Few provide any systems or guidance on how correspondence should be communicated by their volunteers when submitting medical clearance notes allowing athletes to return to play. 

HeadCheck’s platform provides for secure communication that meets government health privacy standards, such as HIPAA, PIPEDA & FERPA and limits access to this information on a need-to-know basis.  

9. We can’t mandate the use of the software

Governing bodies (“GB”) mandate numerous items for the members to use, from the use of:

  • protective equipment,
  • games sheets,
  • concussion policies, 
  • and paper-based injury reports. 

If members aren’t following the policy, the burden of proof is on the member association to prove compliance. If by-laws prevent mandating the solution, the GB can request proof of compliance by auditing current records for compliance. 

Ultimately, HeadCheck Manager eases the process for associations and volunteers, and they’ll end up thanking you for implementing it.

10. Even if we mandate software, we can’t enforce the use

HeadCheck Manager makes it easy for you to track usage and compliance. 

The Pre-Game Check ensures that the coach or team manager has reviewed all relevant information before the game and that they’re logged into the app in the event of an injury. 

At the end of the event, Post-Game Report is filled with several taps of the screen to confirm if any injuries occurred. 

This simple two-step process allows the association to know that their policy is being followed and empowers the volunteer to follow it.

Still have questions? 

Don’t let them hold you back from achieving your organization’s greatest impact + influence! 

Set up a meeting with HeadCheck Health to learn more about how our technology and continued support can help you simplify your requirements while saving you time.

References

[1] https://www.aspenprojectplay.org/youth-sports-facts/challenges

[2]  https://www.aspenprojectplay.org/youth-sports-facts/challenges

[3] https://www.aspenprojectplay.org/youth-sports-facts/challenges

[4] https://journals.lww.com/cjsportsmed/Fulltext/2013/01000/American_Medical_Society_for_Sports_Medicine.1.aspx

[5] https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/concussion-sign-symptoms/concussion-sport-infographic.html

[6] https://www.momsteam.com/twelve-signs-good-youth-sports-program

[7] https://www.aspenprojectplay.org/youth-sports-facts/consequences

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