No Injured Worker Left Behind
Tim Davidson thought his employer’s manual return-to-work program could be administered much better, as scores of injured workers “just got lost in the paper trail,” never returning to full duty.
Davidson, assistant vice president of loss prevention, corporate safety and security officer at IASIS Healthcare in Franklin, Tenn., worked to create IASIS’ “Back@Work Program.”
The program automates workflow processes within IASIS’ return-to-work program to ensure injured employees don’t fall through the cracks.
The new program is intended to reduce leakage — “the dollar value you lose between different touchpoints in the return-to-work world,” Davidson said.
There can be significant gaps between when an employee first reports an injury to when adjusters are notified, and a physician sees an employee and reports back to the company on employee’s limitations.
“By streamlining this process and creating an electronic platform, the gap time between steps has been reduced,” he said.
The program was customized from the platform of Riskonnect, an enterprise risk management software provider in Kennesaw, Ga.
In November 2013, Davidson and his team piloted the new program for IASIS’ Texas operations. Since then, the average cost per claim in Texas dropped from $9,700 in 2010, to $350 in 2014.
One of the most efficient new tools is the use of electronic signature technology, now allowed under the Affordable Care Act, to enable each participant in the process to quickly sign off, Davidson said.
Managers can now track overall program efficacy in employee retention and other performance metrics using the software’s dashboards. Moreover, a light duty task bank system electronically matches employees with the appropriate tasks to minimize re-injury.
Other improvements that Davidson implemented included adding Corvel claims handling, a third-party administrator with a medical case management approach, and the installation of proper lift equipment in each of IASIS’ facilities, combined with a training program in lifting techniques and equipment operation.
Lelan Daines, IASIS’s vice president of risk and insurance, said that before Davidson implemented the new program, managers didn’t really know how the return-to-work program was supposed to work.
“It often depended on how dedicated the manager was, whether they had time or whether they even understood what the expectation was,” Daines said. “Tim improved the program to give them step-by-step instructions with electronic forms, tools and timelines. He also developed better ways for us to measure the effect of the program. We found that there was a significant reduction in costs and the length of time injured employees were away from their jobs.”
Marsh Risk Consulting worked closely with Davidson to conduct a needs analysis and train staff, said Elizabeth Reynolds, senior vice president. Different IASIS locations had different ideas that were incorporated into the final program.
“Tim really was a visionary in putting this together — really systemizing it and institutionalizing it within IASIS,” Reynolds said. “It’s a pleasure working with Tim and seeing this come to fruition.”
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