Managing your workers’ compensation injuries can be stressful, but knowing the right questions to ask can help you feel confident in your ability to reduce your claims and improve workers’ health.
Don’t let the unknowns of your workers’ comp program impact your company’s ability to service its clientele. Start asking the right questions to improve your program today.
Below are 9 vital questions to ask yourself and your physical therapist about your worker treatment plan. The questions below are designed to help you gain a greater control of your workers’ comp program, while reducing the chances of reinjury to your workers.
1. Do you know the physical therapist your worker is seeing?
If you know who is treating your employee you can vet them. Make sure she is a reputable and licensed professional. Then you can follow up, holding them accountable for the treatment they provide.
2. Is the physical therapist a specialist or a generalist?
Ideally, the physical therapist should be an expert in the hospitality industry and understand the work requirements of your hotel’s employees. He should have a successful track record in treating and rehabilitating people in a wide range of hotel job requirements.
3. How good is the physical therapist at rehabilitating injured workers?
Ensure employee safety by checking the credentials of the assigned physical therapist. Find out if the therapist is an “expert” at treating workers’ comp injuries or a generalist. After all, you don’t go to a general practitioner when you need heart surgery. It doesn’t make sense for your employees to be treated by a generalist when their injury is specific to their work place.
4. Does the physical therapist know what your injured workers’ job requirements are?
Most jobs, especially those in the hospitality industry, have specialty movements. These are repeated motions or positions required to perform the same tasks on a regular basis, e.g. flipping a mattress, vacuuming, carrying heavy trays, or pushing heavy carts. These tasks put a specific stress on the body.The therapist should understand these moves and adjust treatment according to each worker’s capacity.
5. Can you call and speak to the physical therapist about the treatment your employee is receiving?
The answer should be yes! That way you can confirm that your employee is getting the treatment he needs.
6. When is your injured worker getting treatment? Are appointment times flexible and convenient?
Check to see if it's necessary for an employee to leave during work hours. There may be appointment times that suit the work schedule better. You don’t have to conform to the therapy provider’s preferred treatment time. Have the therapist conform to what’s convenient for you and your worker.
7. Will the treatment be appropriate for the injury?
Treatment should promote healing and prevent future injuries. Talk to the therapist about your worker’s treatment plan. Understand what the physical goals are. Make sure the therapist is familiar with the specific physical requirements of the job. The best way is to have the therapist see how the tasks are performed on the hotel’s site, in the actual work place. If your employee returns to work, but can only perform basic movements, he won't be able to do his job safely. That’s a situation begging for another injury.
8. Do you know how long your injured worker will be away from work or on light duty?
This is a discussion for both the therapist and the manager. Between the two of you, decide on the function needed for light duty. Define what the light duty is, so that the injury isn't exacerbated. Determine a timetable for when she can start light duty and what that requires. And don't forget to detail the plan for when she'll be able to return to work at full strength.
9. Have you discussed with the therapist the work your employee needs to be able to do when she returns to work?
It’s a good idea to have regular check-ins with the therapist. Discuss the progress of the treatment. Highlight any weakness you’ve noted in your worker’s performance since the injury (if still on the job). The therapist should understand the job's physical requirements that the worker must be able to do.
We know what you’re probably thinking. "There’s no way my physical therapy provider will give me this information." Or, “they don’t seem to have the time to talk about this.” You might be right. But until you ask, how will you know for sure? If they don't — maybe it’s time to consider an alternative.
Your old way for dealing with workers’ comp claims is just that, old! Take control of your workers’ comp claims and get the results you need faster, more conveniently, and more effectively by asking the questions above!
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