How Technology Can Affect Your Workers' Compensation and Workplace Safety Programs
Technology can help employers improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their workers’ compensation and workplace safety programs and contribute to better outcomes for injured workers, according to speakers on a webcast sponsored by Marsh’s Workers’ Compensation Center of Excellence (COE).
For example, technology can help employers better communicate with and educate employees, ensure prompt delivery of medical care to injured workers, and more effectively manage claims, said Tom Ryan, Market Research leader in Marsh’s Workers’ Compensation COE.
One example of how employers can use technology is to build easy-to-use systems through which employees can report incidents and injuries. One such system, in use at Northwell Health, enables employees to report injuries through a mobile app. Since the new system was introduced, injury reporting rates have improved and the company has been able to better “help employees navigate the workers’ compensation process and have them return to work, even with restrictions,” said Joseph Molloy, a vice president for workforce safety at Northwell Health.
Bank of America uses a telenursing system so injured employees can speak with a nurses, who can assess injuries and the callers’ pain levels to provide recommendations. In some cases, first aid only is required, but the nurse can also help the employee obtain medical care when needed. “We’ve found that when an employee speaks to a nurse and receives his or her treatment recommendation, it saves a single visit to the urgent care, or worse, the hospital,” said Donna Sides, a senior insurance manager and workers’ compensation supervisor at Bank of America.
Telenursing is one example of telemedicine, which employers are increasingly exploring as a more efficient way to deliver medical care to employees. “Many businesses have found value in having an onsite occupational clinic, but the associated costs of overhead and staffing have been a deterrent,” said David Lupinsky, a vice president at third-party administrator CorVel. “Telemedicine allows for employers to create a virtual occupational clinic, where a large subset of patients can be handled on-site, which allows for significant gains in productivity, and much greater return on investment.”
Listen to the webcast replay.