2X Doubling: Severe Injury Return-to-Work Rates

By Hessellund, Thorv | Risk Management, November 1999 | Go to article overview

2X Doubling: Severe Injury Return-to-Work Rates


Hessellund, Thorv, Risk Management


Until recently, employers and claims adjusters rarely thought about bringing a catastrophically injured worker back into a productive environment. In fact, what starts out as a worker's severe loss of function often mushrooms into a web of medical, psychological, legal and workplace dilemmas, cultivating negative, self-fulfilling prophecies in the minds of injured workers and those around them. According to a National Council on Compensation Insurance study conducted in 1996, only 10 percent of those who sustain a catastrophic injury (multiple trauma, severe burn, spinal cord or acquired brain injury) ever return to work.

But a return-to-work level as high as 26 percent can be achieved by developing broad-based information technologies and integrating classic vocational rehabilitation strategies into a comprehensive catastrophic injury management philosophy. This doubling of return-to-work rates comes from a health recovery paradigm shift that incorporates anticipation of the injured worker's return to work, while striving for maximum medical improvement.

In the typical claims management scenario, catastrophic health care services are approached sequentially. Friction often develops between isolated professionals as they compete, imposing narrow and fragmented treatment protocols. Time is wasted and momentum lost as an array of providers struggle to pick up the pieces left by one discipline after another. Dissatisfaction sets in and perpetuates an ongoing search by patients and their families, who may have neither the background nor the ability to articulate their needs.

By listening to their concerns, we have learned that injured workers want first to receive the best possible medical care. Second, they want their former way of life back and a sense that they still control their own destiny. My work over the last six years has convinced me that a single, coordinated management strategy that incorporates past experience with early input from medical, rehabilitation and vocational disciplines is the best means to meeting these needs. This approach helps people achieve the highest possible level of independence and productivity. It also addresses physical, psychosocial and vocational needs in unison--from the point of injury through return to work.

Steps for Success

There are four interrelated key elements necessary for return-to-work success for catastrophically injured patients.

1. The first element is an expert team, one that is equipped with all of the skills and experience to manage difficult cases. The team should work together effectively under a proven model of management structure, utilizing a separate injury management team for each catastrophic loss. The team members should include: a director of clinical services, a medical director--a practicing specialist in the field of occupational injury--a local, expert case manager, a director of vocational rehabilitation and return-to-work specialists.

2. Prompt and comprehensive data collection is also important. All specialists must have the latest technology, facilitating rapid response from any locale. The background and expertise they bring to catastrophic cases open doors and provide solutions unavailable to the typical practitioner. Ideally, the process begins with a trauma specialist from a high-quality facility trained to administer catastrophic acute-care treatment in a way that maximizes future capacity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

2X Doubling: Severe Injury Return-to-Work Rates
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.