Communicate with injured workers to empower them
Injured workers who perceive they have lost control over their lives are more susceptible to becoming long-term disabled patients, according to a workers' comp veteran. Stakeholders can help prevent disability mentality by sending the right messages.
"It's about training the people dealing with injured workers, particularly doctors, claims managers, and lawyers," says Robert Aurbach, CEO of Uncommon Approach.
Claims managers, he says, dictate what the injured worker must do to preserve his income stream; doctors prescribe medications that must be taken on specific schedules; attorneys tell injured workers who they may talk to, what activities to engage in or avoid, and how to speak, dress, and present themselves.
Instead, he suggests giving the injured worker the knowledge to ask the right questions and understand why they are being asked to undergo medical treatment to make them feel more like a partner in the recovery team "than a disenfranchised passive recipient who has lost control over their body."
April 9, 2012
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