Tag Archives: return to work program

Technology Can Make Return-to-work More Effective and Efficient

September 24, 2018 by 

You are all probably aware of many of the standard strategies that can be employed to ensure timely return to work during and after recovery from an occupational injury or illness.

Technology Can Make Return to Work More Efficient

But are there any newer technologies and approaches that can facilitate this process to make it more effective and expedited?

arm in cast using iPad for article, Technology Can Make Return-to-work More Effective and Efficient

In a previous article, I discussed the critical need for an advanced form of “job description,” which we refer to as a digital job profile (DJP) containing a comprehensive physical demands analysis(PDA).  It bears repeating that the digital job profile is the cornerstone to understanding the explicit, quantitative demands of a job, and is utilized by all stakeholders in the claim management continuum. How can we return an individual to modified or full duty without knowing exactly what the job requirements are?

Psychological Component Can Play Greater Role Than Biological

Many of you are aware of the biopsychosocial model of injury or illness. In short, this is the recognition that non-physical factors highly impact functional restoration. In fact, many experts feel that the psychosocial components play a greater role than biological ones. You have undoubtedly noticed that the same type of injury may be devastating to one individual, while a more resilient person easily overcomes it. It is extremely helpful to predict whether your claimant is likely to be in the former or latter category.  If the claimant is fragile from a psychosocial perspective, many mitigation strategies can be employed to prevent the delayed return to work/life activities that inevitably accompanies these comorbidities.

Fortunately, there are automated, online screening tools available that allow you to enter claimant responses to a brief series of questions, and provide you with an immediate, calculated psychosocial risk level (high, medium, low). These validated tools may also recommend various interventions derived from the response pattern of claimants to the questionnaire. Some folks will benefit from cognitive behavior therapy, and others from family counseling, vocational guidance or psychiatric assessment. Risk screening helps to identify the level of risk, as well as appropriate strategies to help individuals better cope with the added stress of an injury or illness.


5 Ways To Facilitate Better Return-to-Work Rates

May 9, 2018 by 

The longer an injured worker is off the job, the more it costs the company and the less likely he is to return — ever. Since that can add up to major expenses for an organization, the goal should be to keep injured employees on the job or, if that’s not possible, get them back to work as soon as possible.

icon style graphic for aricle, 5 Ways To Facilitate Better Return-to-Work RatesMost injured workers are back on the job within 4 days. But there are times when that is not the case — even if the injury itself is not that severe. There are myriad reasons employees don’t return to the job. Using a few simple strategies can aid the process.

  1. Stay in network. The medical providers that are part of your network should be well versed in occupational health issues, especially when it comes to returning the injured worker to work. Physicians in the know understand that it is not only in the employer’s best interests, but the employee’s as well. Research clearly shows people recover and heal faster when they are participating in constructive activities, rather than sitting on the couch. Physicians who are part of the employer’s medical network understand these factors and are more likely to pursue returning the worker to the job site, at least in some capacity.

However, it does not always work out that way, and the employee may go to a physician of his choice for various reasons. Even in states without employer-directed healthcare, the employer can at least recommend certain providers. Someone from the company should also be designated to drive the person to the physician’s office. Doing so will make the worker more likely to agree to be seen by the provider recommended.

Some injured workers say they are ‘fine’ at the time of injury but later seek medical care. All injured workers should be provided with a list of in-network or recommended providers. If the employee later decides to head to a physician, he may be more likely to go to one suggested to him.

Employers need to be clear about the workers’ compensation process and demonstrate their caring and concern for the injured worker. This can be done with effective communication — both formal and informal (see ‘communicate’ and ‘brochures’ below).


Benefits of Stay at Work & Return to Work Programs

August 29, 2013 by 

If these benefits sound good to you, read on! 1.No lost days or fewer lost days. 2. Higher productivity.Return to Work for healthy workers, healthy business3. Higher employee morale as the employee sees the employer as trying to maintain  employee’s income level. 4. Higher profit for the employer.  The doctors and staff at Central Coast Industrial Care are fully trained to assist you and your employees with a Return to Work Program.

Employers frequently do not grasp the true cost of workers’ compensation.  Many employers mistakenly think that the cost of workers’ compensation insurance is the amount of premium paid to the work comp insurer, or if self-insured, the amount paid out in medical and indemnity benefits.  These are the direct cost of work-related injuries.  The indirect cost of on-the-job injuries is estimated to be three times the direct cost.

Return to Work Brings Employee Back During Medical Recovery

 The loss of productivity is the primary indirect cost employers incur due to a job injury related absence.  However, employers frequently continue to incur the cost of health insurance, accruing time for vacations / sick days and other employee benefits while the employee is off work.  Overtime hours paid to other employees to make up part of the loss of productivity or time training a temporary or permanent replacement for the injured worker is also a part of the indirect cost.

Returns to work programs are designed to have the injured employee brought back to work during the employee’s medical recovery process.  More and more companies are altering their return to work programs to include stay at work, a policy where all but the most critically injured employees are given modified duties, or even a totally new and different job to do immediately following the initial medical visit.

With a stay at work program, the employer’s workers’ compensation coordinator is on the phone contacting the medical provider during the time the injured employee is traveling from the accident scene to the medical provider.  The medical provider is advised that the employer will provide the employee with modified duty within any medical restrictions including providing total sedentary work if needed.  The work comp coordinator also requests the employee’s work restrictions to be provided immediately following the employee’s first medical visit for the injury.

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5 Workers’ Comp New Year’s Resolutions to Contain Your Costs

Happy New Year 2013 round stampDecember 27, 2012 By Michael B. Stack

Throughout the year we have discussed several ways to try and cut costs and exposure. There is no better time to implement these cost savings techniques than at the start of a new year. People almost expect change when early January arrives, starting off with the often-failed New Year’s resolutions. In case you didn’t heed to our advice throughout the year, here is yet another reminder of some ways you can make a difference in attempting to reduce your work comp costs:

1. Healthy employees are less likely to get hurt
Employers are taking a vested interest in the overall health of their employees. Discounts on insurance can be applied for employees that undergo a yearly physical, which can provide early detection of a potential medical issue that may have gone unnoticed without the proper testing. Employers also implement wellness programs, exercise facilities, discounts for local gym memberships, good-natured weight loss competitions, and so on. Anything can make a difference, so give it a shot.
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