Disorders of the cervical spine are prevalent among industrial employees, but there has been no standardized approach to the treatment and diagnosis of these patients. The purpose of this study is to present a protocol (an algorithm, in this case computerized) designed for cervical spine patients and to evaluate the results of its application to a group of industrial patients with neck problems. The results demonstrated reductions in number of patients seen (by 54%), in number of lost work days (by 65%), and in costs (by 63%). We conclude that good medicine leads to cost savings in treatment of cervical spine injuries and that use of a computerized algorithm is both necessary and practical for consistent care in the compensation setting.
©1985 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine