What if your injured workers could receive outpatient therapy at work instead of at a clinic? A growing number of employers in many industries are choosing this option for their injured workers. Physical therapy at work is proven to be faster. It’s also more effective. And that is saving employers millions of dollars. But what do injured workers themselves think of this option?
What’s Not to Like?
Injured workers want to get back to their job as soon as possible. They see outpatient therapy at work as an opportunity to do that. An option that eases their path to healing.
Knowing that, they can provide job-specific therapy. They can also teach your employee how to “work smarter” and more safely in the future. That reduces risk of re-injury. No worker wants to be hurt again.
Onsite physical therapy is private. Your employee doesn’t have an audience of other patients. There are no distractions. They work with their physical therapist one-on-one for the entire session. That builds trust and a strong recovery partnership. It all adds up to more effective therapy.
The chance to receive outpatient therapy at work improves job satisfaction. Injured workers recover faster. And they return to work confident they can stay safe in the future. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why injured workers prefer outpatient therapy at work.
Who Cares What Injured Workers Prefer?
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI)says attitude affects results. “Among injured workers who had ongoing follow-up care after their initial treatment, satisfaction with interpersonal and technical aspects of care and with care coordination [is] strongly and positively associated with overall treatment experience.”
Injured workers who have a negative recovery experience are out of work longer. They are “3.54 times more likely to still be receiving time-loss compensation for inability to work due to injury 6-12 months after filing a claim.” That makes ability to return to productive work is a valid metric for employers. Improving return-to-work rates improves the quality of your workers’ claim resolutions.
The WCRI has also concluded that trust in the workplace is an “important predictor” of workers’ comp claim outcomes. Many injured workers say they are afraid they will be fired or laid off. Researchers suggest some of that fear could be due to:
“Trust is a key to controlling workers’ comp costs,” according to Rebecca Shafer. Shafer is an attorney. She advises employers on ways to control workers’ compensation costs. She recommends, “Employers must assure employees that they are a valuable member of the team and will not be discriminated against or lose their job during the recovery process.”
Onsite physical therapy helps keep injured workers engaged with their at-work team. Their supervisor or the workers’ comp director can stop by a therapy session. They can help celebrate their employee’s recovery progress. And they can personally encourage them to keep going.
Rebecca Shafer also notes that ongoing communication is crucial to build trust with injured workers. She recommends that employers meet with injured workers once a week. You can discuss any challenges your injured worker is facing. And you can discuss return-to-work strategy. As he recovers, your injured worker may be able to return to light duty. What could be easier or more convenient than meeting right before or after an at-work treatment session?
Employers Also Prefer Outpatient Therapy at Work
As an employer, you want to reduce workers’ comp claims and costs. You also want to improve job satisfaction. Offering physical therapy at work does that:
You and your injured workers have the same goal – a speedy return to work. Onsite physical therapy makes that possible. You can save money. You can boost job satisfaction. That improves retention rates. And it reduces overall hiring costs. Everybody benefits. No wonder outpatient therapy at work is everyone’s preference.
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