"The app is designed for after-hours service," said Steve Canfield, workers' compensation liaison at The Workplace occupational health clinic. "After hours is an area that is very difficult to take care of the client. It normally happens in an emergency department versus a clinic that is open from 8 to 5 every day. It's an area where things get lost quite often and things get missed."
The clinic is part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is located at Highlands Hospital. It handles things such as treatment of injured workers, drug screens, preemployment physicals, and physicals for the Department of Transportation. It is one of about half a dozen occupational health clinics in the Birmingham area.
Canfield says they developed the app as a way to compete with the other area occupational clinics. Their clients include all types of companies from a large steel business to a fast-food restaurant. He believes the app, which can be accessed from a smartphone or computer, is the first of its kind.
"What it is, it has an interface on your smartphone that looks like a normal app. It has an icon," he said. "When you click on it, it takes you to a Web page that allows you to fill out pertinent information -- the company name, company contact, company email, company phone number, and it has a comment section to be able to add additional information."
Once the submit button is clicked, the information is sent via email to an emergency communication specialist. The ECS also receives a page "that lets them know they have an email from one of our clients telling us they are sending in an injured worker and they require a drug screen, and/or a breath alcohol test," Canfield said.
The information allows the ECS to call the company contact to acknowledge that an injured worker is coming in and see if additional information is needed.
"It allows us to be more efficient and puts the burden of the drug screening and breath test on us," Canfield said. "A lot of times the patient doesn't know if that is a requirement," which can end up being costly for the insurer if a required screening is not administered.
The app went live in mid-August. So far, the feedback has been positive.
"It's the type of app that by no means is going to be used by everybody," Canfield said. "It's very niche oriented; very specific to a company that has after-hours injuries and/or drug screens."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 4, 2012
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