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Avoiding 10 Common Pitfalls in Injury Management: Part 2

  • Published
  • 22 January 2015
  • Category
  • News

Now that you’ve had a chance to digest the first five pitfalls that stand in the way of effective work-related injury management, we address the remaining five in Part 2.

To learn more, register here for a complimentary Jan. 27 UL Workplace Health and Safety webinar featuring Peter P. Greaney, M.D., WorkCare’s medical director, president and CEO. Dr. Greaney has been practicing occupational medicine for more than three decades and consults to all sizes and types of industries.

Pitfalls 6-10:

6. Not identifying contributors to a disabled mindset.

Failure to recognize that delayed recovery can be anticipated and disability prevented in the majority of workers’ compensation cases leads to Pitfall 6. Awareness of “medicalization” – the process in which non-medical, psycho-social issues become defined and treated as medical problems – is a good place to start. It’s advisble to advocate for a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to help minimize the impact of injury, illness, impairment and aging on employees so they can be functional, productive and enjoy their lives.

7. Failure to establish realistic expectations for recovery.

Fraud and abuse occurs among employers, employees, attorneys and even some treating providers. However, employees with unrealistic post-injury expectations with respect to physical recovery, monetary compensation and leave benefits are the bigger cost drivers. Transparency and information-sharing upfront helps employers avoid Pitfall 7. When necessary, seek expert guidance to help you manage leave challenges that result from complex chronic conditions and fitness-for-duty issues.

8. Establish a post-injury/illness return-to-work (RTW) program.

Despite strong evidence that work stimulates rather than impedes recovery, many employers stumble into Pitfall 8. With reassurance from a trusted medical provider and their employer, most workers are able to return to a full-duty or modified-duty position without fear of re-injury – even if they are in pain. Studies show meaningful RTW improves outcomes and reduces costs across the board. Visit for a related blog posot.

9. Follow a process for effective case management.

Pitfall 9 occurs when effective case management is a missing link in the continuum of recovery. Many employers purchase case monitoring software but lack a nurse or other medical professional to help implement interventions. Experienced case managers facilitate patient access to appropriate care, monitor utilization and medical status, and prevent lost work time and the downward spiral into disability.

10. Create an environment where innovation can flourish.

Absence of innovation is perhaps the most challenging of the 10 pitfalls because it requires being receptive to new ways of approaching persistent problems and willingness to accept some degree of risk. Consider this: What do short-term solutions and long-term innovations mean to you personally and in your workplace?

To learn more about strategies to keep employees healthy, safe and productive, we invite you to review other sections of our website or call our business development team at 800-455-6155.

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