Front-foot approach to managing the health of workers
An early intervention illness and injury management system established by health consulting firm Injury Treatment is resulting in improvements to many Australian organisations’ bottom line. Challenging current incident reporting, response and management systems as well as leadership capability and consistency with respect to injury and illness management, this framework for injury and illness management is claimed to reduce lost time, claims durations and costs while boosting best practice leadership, clinical and rehabilitation interventions which are aligned with early and accurate diagnosis, appointment of best practice resources and an inherent focus on employee productivity, morale and return to work.
Research has found that 45% of employees in Australia are taking in excess of four weeks off work for minor injuries that should be resolved within five days. Taking average weekly salaries and average costs of claims, it’s estimated that employers are paying on average $18,965 more per injured employee than required.
Injury Treatment’s founder and Executive General Manager, Brooke Taylor, said, “We developed and piloted our Early Intervention Program with a major Australian organisation employing over 30,000 employees. As a result, they experienced a 52.2% reduction in average claim costs, a 70% reduction in claims duration and 67.7% improvement in lost time. We can convert this to an average total saving of approximately $400,000 annually.”
Injury Treatment’s early intervention model focuses on a systematic, fast-paced and consistent approach to injury and illness notification and management, resulting in prompt identification of employees at risk of developing bio-psychosocial barriers and improved health outcomes for injured or ill employees as result of immediate clinical intervention, and likewise an immediate focus on return to work.
Taylor says that a key barrier many organisations face when implementing early intervention claims and injury management systems is lack of clarity in internal and external stakeholder responsibilities and quite often operational KPIs are linked to lost time only, rather than incorporating results around speed of reporting, intervention, claims durations and return to work.
“Our experience has shown that the earlier organisations identify and respond to injuries, the greater chance of an accurate diagnosis, correct treatment, focused workplace planning and faster return-to-work results for injured or ill employees. For companies to benefit from the model, a cultural shift may need to occur towards the promotion of rapid and open communication around health and safety reporting,” said Taylor.
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