Begging the question: the first step of medical case management

You’re in a foreign land. Fearful and in pain. Above all, you want answers.

Sometimes, however, you need questions.

Is there anyone with you? Are you able to travel? Is your condition getting worse? Have you received any treatment so far?

These questions and many more like them are a crucial first step in ensuring Tangiers International can provide the most efficient and effective help to policy holders injured or taken ill while abroad.

By obtaining as much relevant information as possible about a patient’s location, ailment, medical history and mobility, Tangiers can make informed decisions about the best course of action – whether seeking medical treatment in country or arranging evacuation.

Franziska Gross, Tangiers International’s operations coordinator, knows this well.

She is often the first voice policy holders hear when they reach out to Tangiers International by phone – unsure of what will happen next or the assistance which will be available.

Luckily, they’re in safe hands.

Franziska, originally from Rostock, Germany, but now based in Mallorca, Spain, is well-versed in finding out exactly what Tangiers needs in order to facilitate treatment or emergency travel.

She said: “The situations we come across can be quite challenging. First, we need to gather as much information as possible. There are so many variables which could affect how we deal with the situation: whether they’re in a very remote location, or whether they’re alone – anything like that really.

“The next step is reassuring them that we are in control of the situation. This involves giving them definitive guidance on what is going to happen next, what they need to do and how we will proceed.

“Of course, sometimes the situations are really tricky, but we need to maintain a professional demeanour – to reassure them that we know what we’re doing.”

Tangiers International operates in some of the world’s most remote or dangerous regions – assisting policy holders whose physical injuries may be exacerbated by local political instability, travel restrictions or a lack of adequate medical infrastructure.

Precise and targeted questioning allows the company to pinpoint exactly where it should be allocating its resources, whether instructing local field agents or third party providers to resolve specific issues.

It also provides the information needed to construct a preliminary timeframe of how the case will be handled – very reassuring for policy holders who may never have been in a comparable situation.

Franziska, who joined the Tangiers team in 2018, said: “It’s really important to explain to people how we are going to go forward. Give them a time frame so they know exactly what we can do for them.

“At the same time, we need to get all this information to our medical doctor who has to make a decision about whether it’s appropriate for them to stay there or if they need to be moved.

“But we also need to explain the challenges we may encounter. That’s what’s very important in the first phone call. So it’s a lot of small steps at the same time.”