Return to Work
Directing Care - Occ Docs
Over the last couple of years, there has been an increased use of a 24/7 nurse triage line to help direct care for injured employees. Employers benefit greatly from this service, designed to immediately put the injured employee at ease. When an employee calls the nurse care line, a registered nurse with experience in workplace injuries will direct care including self-treatment, reducing trips costly trips to the ER and excessive time off. Everyone wins - the employee gets the right care, right away and the employer saves on work comp costs by reducing the number of claims on the mod, and lowering the costs of claims.
If the triage nurse determines the employee needs to be seen by a medical provider, the nurse will assist with scheduling the appointment. This is where establishing a relationship with an occupational medicine provider, or trained physician is critical. For many injured employees, this is their first experience with workers compensation and appreciate direction to a provider that already has the employers insurance and return to work information on file, and understands the physical demands of the job. The triage nurse will direct the employee to see the established clinic for treatment. If the employee insists on seeing their own doctor, the triage line nurse can follow up with the doctor to make sure appropriate treatment is prescribed, and the report of workability is completed, which help get the employee quickly and safely back to work.
Supervisors appreciate the nurse triage line because it takes the responsibility of directing care off their shoulders and the employee is directed by a neutral third party. Employers appreciate the 24/7 availability, especially if they have a second or third shift, or employees working off site. Employees can call any time, day or night, even weekends, and get the right care right when they need it.