10:00 in the morning is an expensive time of day for many organizations. There is a spike in injury frequency in the service/hospitality, construction/natural resources and healthcare industries, according to Pinnacol Assurance. The Colorado workers’ compensation insurer released trends based on five years of its claims data in four industries. The results can help employers in the industries take positive steps toward improved workers’ comp injury prevention.
Injury Frequency. While many injuries occur to newly hired workers, some industries were noteworthy for other spikes in injury frequency
- Healthcare – 3 – 4 years after the hire date
- Clerical/professional – more than 10 years after the hiring date
Also, in healthcare, 38% of injuries happen during the first year on the job, whether the worker is new to the organization OR new to the industry.
Danger Zone Times. A drop in blood sugar levels is speculated as a reason
for the increase in injuries at 10 a.m. in several industries. Additional times of frequency spikes include:
- Service Hospitality: 9 p.m. saw a spike in the most expensive injuries
- Construction/natural resources: 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.
- Clerical/professional: 8 – 11 a.m., with a significant spike at 2:00
Vulnerable Body Parts. The lower back is the most commonly injured body part in both the professional/clerical and construction/natural resources fields. It’s also the most expensive location for injuries in construction/natural resources. Other commonly injured and/or expensive body parts injured include
- Service/hospitality: fingers, hands and lower back are most commonly injured. Lacerations, contusions, strains, sprains, and burns are the most expensive injuries.
- Construction/natural resources: lower back, knee, foot, lower leg, and fingers are the most expensive body parts injured.
- Healthcare: lower back, shoulder, knee, wrist, and ankle are the most expensive. Strains, strikes (needlesticks) and strains (lifting/carrying) are the most frequent causes of injuries, while animals are number 8 on the list of causes, due to home health care incidents.
- Clerical/professional: lower back, knee, fingers, shoulder and wrist are the most commonly injured body parts. The most expensive injury types are contusions, strains, sprains, fractures and The most frequent causes of injures are strains from lifting, falls from ice/snow, falls on the same level, repetitive motion, and motor vehicle incidents.
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It’s among the hottest topics in work comp these days.
Telemedicine will be one of – if not the – most disruptive force in workers’ compensation medical care. Companies such as CHC Telehealth, Go2Care, and AmericanWell are moving rapidly, adopting different business models in an effort to gain first mover advantage.
Looking for a broader perspective, I recently had the chance to interview Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association. Here’s what he had to say…
MCM – What service types/specialties are embracing telemedicine most rapidly? Why those?
JL – It covers the gamut from primary care to urgent care, but there are some popular specialties – mental health, behavioral health, neurology – stroke care, ICU/CCU. Dermatology is one of the earlier adopters and radiology via remote reading of images has become a standard in the industry
The greatest increase in the number of services has been via consultations with online providers, Intensive Care monitoring either continuously or in evening hours (30% of ICU beds are hooked up to remote monitoring) and remote monitoring of chronic care.
Slower adopters include surgery, although that is changing with some robotics and oversight/proctoring from specialists from a distance.
[Telemedicine is now being used for] Initial or follow-up visits with providers. Online consults are growing quite significantly with 1.2 million services delivered to 750,000 members in 2016. Possible stroke victims are being assessed by neurologists remotely today.
In terms of the largest number of people served, the top specialty is radiology where 7 – 10 million pictures are read remotely followed by cardiology with remote monitoring.
Continue reading Telemedicine – A Primer
By Safety National 12/02/2016
Telemedicine is a hot topic with lots of discussion around its potential to favorably impact workers’ compensation by improving medical care access, but to what extent is it actually feasible today? This session at the 2016 National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference featured viewpoints from an employer, vendor and carrier.
Speakers included: Ann Schnure, VP Risk Management – Claims, Macy’s, Jill Allen, President & CEO, Consumer Health Connections and Paul Morizzo, Provider Networks Manager, Missouri Employers Mutual
Telemedicine is the next generation of managing injured workers’ medical care and claims. In fact, the telehealth industry is predicted to grow to $34 billion by 2020. Industry experts also estimate that, by 2018, 80% of employers will be offering a telehealth benefit to employees.
The industry has been slow to embrace telehealth, possibly due to worries that employees will not want to do it, the installation of equipment will be costly, or the preconceived notion that today’s telemedicine product are only for triage.
Macy’s uncovered that injured employees sent to occupational clinics were returning to work without attending follow-up visits. Employee excuses ranged from no time, limited transportation and that they were recovered, so did not feel the need. Macy’s wanted to fix these problems. They reviewed several telehealth options that either did not work for their employee population or to where they couldn’t justify the ROI. Continue reading Incorporating Telemedicine into Workers’ Compensation Care
Getting injured or sick in the workplace is a more significant problem than most people might realize. While
it is true that the number of reported non-fatal illnesses or injuries dropped from 4.2 million in 2005 to a little over 3 million in 2013, workplace incidents are still pose serious issues.
The consequences of these accidents are vast, including missed days of work, legal fees, lost productivity, decreased morale among employees, equipment repair or replacement and the training of new employees or even loss of life.
Monetarily, an employer can face hefty medical bills and compensation fees for an injured worker. In 2014, over 250,000 claims were submitted, ranging from mental stress to fractures and sprains. In total, over 11 billion dollars was paid out for these incidents.
To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program.
A recent report from Safe Work Australia found that temporary or part-time workers recorded a work-related injury rate 50 percent higher than permanent workers in 2009-10 with females reporting a significantly higher rate of injuries per hour worked than males.
The report, Australian work-related injury experience by sex and age (2009-2010), examines the work-related injury experience of male and female workers across different age groups.
The report also provides data that can assist industry identify demographics where work health and safety can be improved.
In 2009-10, close to 640 000 workers reported they had suffered a work-related injury which is close to triple the population of a city the size of Hobart reporting a work-related injury.
While males recorded a 19 percent fall in the number of injuries incurred at work since 2005-06 the number for females increased by 11 percent. Although the decrease is reassuring the fact injury rates for females increased indicates that as a nation more effort is needed to improve work health and safety for our workers.
Other key findings of the report include:
● Temporary or part-time workers reported 54 injuries per million hours worked compared with a rate of 35 for those with leave entitlements.
● Working under shift arrangements or as a part-time worker was also associated with higher rates of injury. Half of all female workers worked part-time in 2009-10.
● For each hour worked females had a 28 percent higher risk of injury compared with male workers.
● High rates of injury were experienced in the accommodation and food services industry. This industry has high levels of temporary or part-time and part-time work.
● The most common cause of injury across all age groups was sprain/strain.
● Workers aged 15-24 recorded rates of injury substantially higher than other age groups.
Australian work-related injury experience by sex and age, 2009-10 is available at: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au