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Sponsored: Falck Global Assistance

Fulfilling Duty of Care, Anywhere

These days, businesses of all sizes have some connection to a foreign market and send more employees on the road. That's why they should partner with experts in global assistance so that they can continue to be experts in their own industry.
By: | June 28, 2017 • 6 min read


It’s a small world, and getting smaller every day.

Today’s “borderless economy,” the product of globalization and digitization, has tugged the corners of the world in a little closer. Businesses of every size and function likely have some connection to a foreign country, whether that country is a potential market, distributor, manufacturer or supplier.

As a result, international business travel is burgeoning. No longer a luxury reserved for senior executives, international trips have become a necessity for larger swaths of decision-makers within companies.

When employees embark on travel abroad, whether for a short trip or a long-term assignment, employers have a duty of care to align the security and medical resources a worker might need to keep them safe and healthy.

Many companies, however, underestimate the complexity of that undertaking.

“Imagine the complexity of the U.S. health care system, and multiply that by every country in the world. Add in language and cultural barriers, scarcity of resources and transportation challenges in remote areas, and the potential for political and economic instability,” said Jean-Marc Griscelli, CEO of the Americas and Australia for Falck Global Assistance, one of the world’s oldest global assistance companies.

“There are a lot of pieces to put into place, and people may be moving around faster than companies can align those pieces.”

Network of Local Providers

One of those pieces is a local contingent of medical providers.

To truly promise quick care for employees in the event of a medical emergency, employers need to build relationships with quality local providers wherever they send their workers. Those relationships cut down on the time it takes to identify and transport workers to the nearest hospital or treatment center.

But in today’s environment of rapid change, businesses can’t necessarily predict where they will have to send employees in a year or even a few months’ time. It’s a tall task then, to proactively identify the best quality providers in any given area and build relationships with them.

Jean-Marc Griscelli, CEO of the Americas and Australia

Falck Global Assistance, while based in Denmark, operates eleven alarm centers around the globe and has a presence in 47 countries. This allows the assistance company to develop local knowledge to keep its finger on the pulse of the healthcare and security landscape around the globe.

It is also working in the remotest of regions and emerging markets as well, which provides an advantage for companies looking to expand in those areas.

“You need knowledge of a country’s resources and health care system to provide the best assistance and get the best providers for not just emergency medical care, but also security and repatriation services,” said Jean-Marc Griscelli.

This expertise and a worldwide network of relationships can also help employers get a fair price.

“Some providers, when they learn the patient is American, may try to increase the bill. If you don’t have a working knowledge of the regional norms, you may not question it,” Jean-Marc Griscelli said. Knowing the local rates for different types of services ensures that quality care is delivered at a reasonable price. Falck’s Network Management Team helps to better control costs for clients by fostering relationships with local providers while leveraging its global presence to keep tabs on changes in health care costs.

“Our top priority is always finding the best care, but we also have to balance the bottom dollar,” Jean-Marc Griscelli said.

Effective Communication

A key component of gaining local knowledge and putting it to use is having language services available to traveling employees. Knowing where to go for help, after all, isn’t all that helpful if the employee can’t communicate with the provider.

Language services firms can facilitate the transfer and translation of medical records from facility to facility, regardless of where they are created. And that capability has to go beyond everyday language. In the case of emergency care, translators have to understand “med speak.” The jargon that doctors and other health professionals use needs to be presented in plain language to employees and employers.

“This is such a critical piece, because we have to be able to communicate with providers to identify the best course of action and get them information they need,” Jean-Marc Griscelli said. Falck provides language services in-house.

Around-the-Clock Access

International travel also means an employee could fall ill, suffer an injury, or require emergency evacuation while it’s the middle of the night back in the U.S. No matter when an incident occurs, employers have to have the resources in place to answer that employee’s call.

Having guidance from someone back home not only reassures workers that their care is being coordinated for them; it also provides a sense of comfort, knowing that their employer is indeed looking out for them and prioritizing their safety. It provides a sense of security to know that they have help making decisions around their care while they are in an unfamiliar place, and possibly very far from home.

“Our call centers operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is no waiting to get care,” said Jean-Marc Griscelli. “The first question we always ask is ‘Do you feel you are in safe hands?’ We want to provide a seamless and comfortable experience for travelers anywhere in the world.”

Partner with Experts

Managing these moving parts takes time, resources, and the advantages of a global footprint. Too often, Jean-Marc Griscelli said, small and mid-size companies that grew rapidly or perhaps didn’t anticipate expanding to other countries try to take on the challenges themselves. The result can be a disjointed approach to duty of care.

“You end up with piecemeal solutions that aren’t comprehensive. And often, the people putting the programs together are doing it in a pinch because they have to. It’s not part of their main job,” he said.

That method may work for a time, but a major incident or emergency will quickly reveal the holes, which jeopardizes employees’ safety and increases liability risk for employers.
With so many moving parts, allowing dedicated assistance companies to handle the coordination of medical care, security and transportation services ensures that an employer’s duty of care is met without pulling away their resources.

“Let us be the experts in global assistance, so you can be the expert in your own industry,” Jean-Marc Griscelli said.

Falck uses an in-house team to provide every service, pulling each of its 38,000 employees worldwide into the global assistance division. This ensures continuity of care, including follow-ups if and when an injured employee returns home. They also provide real-time travel tracking and travel alerts via push notification.

The company also utilizes an integrated technology platform that can handle cases of every type in one place. Users have back-end access to their cases so they can see updates in real time. Employers count on that level of dependability, transparency and streamlined service.

“At Falck, we’re all about people helping people,” Jean-Marc Griscelli said. “We leverage all of our in-house resources worldwide to make sure your workers come home safe.”

To learn more about Falck’s assistance services, email [email protected] or visit http://www.falck.com/en/globalassistance/services/.

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This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Falck Global Assistance. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.




Falck Global Assistance helps people travelling and working abroad. We help and assist with international travel emergency assistance and medical and security risk solutions globally.

Risk Management

The Profession: Curt Gross

This director of risk management sees cyber, IP and reputation risks as evolving threats, but more formal education may make emerging risk professionals better prepared.
By: | June 1, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

My first non-professional job was working at Burger King in high school. I learned some valuable life lessons there.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

After taking some accounting classes in high school, I originally thought I wanted to be an accountant. After working on a few Widgets Inc. projects in college, I figured out that wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Risk management found me. The rest is history. Looking back, I am pleased with how things worked out.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

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I think we do a nice job on post graduate education. I think the ARM and CPCU designations give credibility to the profession. Plus, formal college risk management degrees are becoming more popular these days. I know The University of Akron just launched a new risk management bachelor’s program in the fall of 2017 within the business school.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

I think we could do a better job with streamlining certificates of insurance or, better yet, evaluating if they are even necessary. It just seems to me that there is a significant amount of time and expense around generating certificates. There has to be a more efficient way.

R&I: What was the best location and year for the RIMS conference and why?

Selfishly, I prefer a destination with a direct flight when possible. RIMS does a nice job of selecting various locations throughout the country. It is a big job to successfully pull off a conference of that size.

Curt Gross, Director of Risk Management, Parker Hannifin Corp.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

Definitely the change in nontraditional property & casualty exposures such as intellectual property and reputational risk. Those exposures existed way back when but in different ways. As computer networks become more and more connected and news travels at a more rapid pace, it just amplifies these types of exposures. Sometimes we have to think like the perpetrator, which can be difficult to do.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

I hate to sound cliché — it’s quite the buzz these days — but I would have to say cyber. It’s such a complex risk involving nontraditional players and motives. Definitely a challenging exposure to get your arms around. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll really know the true exposure until there is more claim development.

R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?

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Our captive insurance company. I’ve been fortunate to work for several companies with a captive, each one with a different operating objective. I view a captive as an essential tool for a successful risk management program.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

I can’t point to just one. I have and continue to be lucky to work for really good managers throughout my career. Each one has taken the time and interest to develop me as a professional. I certainly haven’t arrived yet and welcome feedback to continue to try to be the best I can be every day.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

I would like to think I have and continue to bring meaningful value to my company. However, I would have to say my family is my proudest accomplishment.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

Favorite movie is definitely “Good Will Hunting.”

R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?

Tough question to narrow down. If my wife ran a restaurant, it would be hers. We try to have dinner as a family as much as possible. If I had to pick one restaurant though, I would say Fire Food & Drink in Cleveland, Ohio. Chef Katz is a culinary genius.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

The Grand Canyon. It is just so vast. A close second is Stonehenge.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

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A few, actually. Up until a few years ago, I owned a sport bike (motorcycle). Of course, I wore the proper gear, took a safety course and read a motorcycle safety book. Also, I have taken a few laps in a NASCAR [race car] around Daytona International Speedway at 180 mph. Most recently, trying to ride my daughter’s skateboard.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

The Dalai Lama. A world full of compassion, tolerance and patience and free of discrimination, racism and violence, while perhaps idealistic, sounds like a wonderful place to me.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

I really enjoy the company I work for and my role, because I get the opportunity to work with various functions. For example, while mostly finance, I get to interact with legal, human resources, employee health and safety, to name a few.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

I asked my son. He said, “Risk management and insurance.” (He’s had the benefit of bring-your-kid-to-work day.)

Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]