When injuries occur most times it’s far too easy to simply let the TPA take the reins and file the paperwork. You don’t know when the employee will be back. You don’t know where and when they are receiving treatment. Here’s a few ways to fill in those gaps and put the process firmly back under you control.
1. Find out who your local treatment provider is.
If your employee is going for physical therapy than they must be seeing a therapist locally. Find out the options. See if there’s a location that’s convenient to your business (if they’re going during work hours). Or their home, if they’re getting treatment outside of work. The closer it is the less time will be lost in transit.
2. Get in direct contact with your treatment provider.
You have rights when it comes to your employee treatment plan. You have the right to know what treatment your employee is getting, and how long they will be out of work.
3. Discuss the physical requirements of the job. Talk about how that pertains to the injury and rehabilitation.
When you talk to the therapist make sure that they understand the physical demands of the job. They should know what movements are required for the job on a daily basis.
For example, if Jane the maid injured her arm she might get physical therapy. But an uninformed therapist might stick to non-specific exercises. These exercises would recondition the muscle to the point where she can move it without pain.
Because non-specific treatment didn’t take into account that Jane would be moving her arms in that way on a regular basis. It’s important that the therapist understand the job functions so the therapy can be tailored to fit.
4. Create a realistic plan and schedule with the treatment provider.
Having an injured worker out can be a scheduling headache. Talk to the treatment provider. Get a specific time period for the return of the employee to work. Don’t rush the employee back to work. But also don’t allow them to continue treatment long after the injury is healed.
Have an open line of communication throughout the treatment. You’ll be able to anticipate the time when the employee can return to work. Both you and your employee will have the confidence of the therapist that the employee is ready. After a setback it's important that the employee feels ready to get back to work. Having this confidence will give them the push they need.
Employees get treatment faster and are back to work more quickly.
If you don’t have the room for a full-time in house program, there’s also the option for an on-call therapist who comes when needed.
You’ll have the open communication and you’ll always know where you stand with an employee’s treatment plan.
Injuries are going to happen that’s the reality. But it doesn’t have to be a frustration or a waiting game. You can use these tips to bring the situation to your control. You can make it faster and more efficient. You can be sure that your employees get the treatment they need to get healthy and get back to work faster.