Today, the cost of workers’ compensation claims continue to rise. Insurance carriers and third party administrators are looking for new and innovative ways to provide better support to workers, both from a preventative as well as post claim perspective. Many payors have implemented Return to Work (RTW) programs to support injured workers in a post-claim scenario. To enhance and extend RTW programs, new and innovative technologies can be used to better collaborate with injured workers to ensure their speedy recovery, and to ultimately improve workers’ comp outcomes.
Using digital to help workers return to work
Let’s take the case of “Tom Hart.” Tom is a twenty year employee of a local manufacturing company, who slipped on the factory floor and dislocated his shoulder. Tom has been told by his primary care provider that he needs to stay out of work for the next six weeks. He’s worried his insurance carrier will not provide complete coverage, he’s not missed a day of work in years, and, he wonders how long it will take to make a full recovery.
To support Tom in his Return to Work journey, what innovative tools can be used by payor’s to best collaborate with Tom and to ensure his safe and timely return to the workforce?
Many new tools exist today that can be used to engage with Tom in a much more personalized manner while he is out of work:
- As most RTW programs rely on email and telephone communication, payers can implement aspects of telehealth by using tools that include Skype, Facetime, or even instant messaging. These can be used by both Tom and his RTW Coordinator to interact in a more personalized manner.
- Use of wearables and other IoT devices can be used to remotely educate and measure Tom’s adherence and progress to his rehabilitation plan.
- To encourage Tom to follow his rehabilitation plan and to provide an innovative way to educate Tom on his injury, gamification can be used to keep him motivated and focused on his recovery. Tom can earn rewards as he sticks to his prescribed recovery plan, or, as he educates himself on his injury.
- A community can be created where Tom can engage with other individuals that are either in the same situation as he is, or, who have valuable advice on actions Tom can take in his recovery journey.
At the end of the day, Tom wants to get better, return to work, and hopes to have had a positive experience throughout his recovery. Return to Work programs equipped with innovative tools can help to support Tom and ensure a positive outcome for all injured workers.
I invite you to learn more Cognizant WorkActivate™ , a platform to accelerate the design of Return to Work (RTW) programs. If you want to learn how to manage return to work programs for disability and workers’ compensation, check out our white paper.