Surgical Best Practices Pilot

What is the Surgical Health Services Coordinators (SHSC) Role?

The Surgical Best Practices Pilot implements four new best practices. The SHSC has a variety of roles that depend both upon the specific best practice and the way it is implemented within the pilot. Primarily, the SHSC is the single point-of-contact maintaining and sharing a global picture of the injured worker’s care with the surgeon, worker, employer, claim manager and others who may be involved in helping the worker recover and return to work (e.g. physical therapist, vocational counselor, etc.).

SHSC's role in each best practice

  1. Timely and appropriate transition to surgical care.
    The SHSC provides hands-on coordinated services on injured workers’ claims when they are referred to surgeons. Research shows that lack of/poor coordination between referring providers and surgical providers during this critical transition can increase time loss and the likelihood of long-term disability.
  2. Timely documentation of return to work plans and goals.
    The SHSC plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of long term disability by coordinating return to work planning and activities with interested parties.
  3. Post-op intervention on return to work goals, if needed.
    The SHSC monitors post-op care and helps identify barriers to return to work. If barriers are identified, the SHSC’s actions are vital in helping the surgeon develop strategies to address them.
  4. Timely transfer after surgical care concludes.
    If requested, the SHSC can assist the worker in finding a non-surgical provider after surgical care is complete.

The three SHSCs are: 

What support will participants receive?

An SHSC will make sure referring providers know when and how to request assistance from surgeons and will take the lead on return to work planning and communication. When the injured worker is ready to move on to the next step of care, the coordinator will assist with transition to the next provider.


Contact Carole Horrell at or 360-902-5080.

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

   © Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.

Help us improve