No matter your industry or where your business is located, workplace injuries are a reality that you need to be—and are required to be—ready to handle. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019, unchanged from 2018. This means 2.8 injuries per 100 full-time employees, usually requiring 5 to 14 days missed.
Though every business hopes they never have to handle a workplace injury, they need to be ready to help their employees get the medical care, treatment, and support they need to return to productive roles as quickly as their condition allows. That’s where a return to work (RTW) program comes in, helping to manage the requirements, care, and duties of affected employees.
Manual Return to Work Processes Require Maximum Effort
During the RTW process, five different parties are involved:
- The employee manager, who wants to ensure they properly follow all procedures and help their employee
- The physician, who wants to ensure the employee is getting the medical care they need
- The insurance adjuster, who wants to keep the overall cost of injury down
- Workers’ compensation (WC) team, who are there to investigate any workers compensation claims
- The employee, who wants to get well and return to work
The entire return to work process starts when the employee is treated at a healthcare facility. Without digitized processes, the WC team receives manual communication from the healthcare provider or the insurance adjuster stating that a claim has started.
The WC team talks to the physician to identify any recommended restrictions and forwards the information to the employee’s manager to see if alternate duty or modified duty is possible. If the manager agrees to accommodation, the employee is notified, an agreement is drafted then signed, and the RTW program begins.
The program continues through more evaluations to determine when and if the employee can return to full duty, or if there is a disability, whether it’s temporary or permanent. When the physician makes their recommendation to either have the employee return to work, go on temporary disability, or go on full disability, the RTW process is finished. During this entire process, all parties must stay informed of any communications.
Just thinking about the manual process involved in return to work is exhausting! Imagine digitizing and automating the majority of the RTW process—making it easier, more efficient, and streamlined ...
How an Automated Return to Work Program Makes Life Easier for Everyone
Instead of sorting through tons of emails and manual processes, using automation and digitization makes the RTW process faster and easier for everyone involved. We’ve broken down what to expect.
What does an automated RTW workflow look like?
Going from manual to a completely customized, digitized, automated RTW workflow looks much more streamlined than manual processes. Instead of what seems like endless emails, manual forms, and phone calls, an automated RTW workflow includes:
- Standardized initial claim forms that make getting started easier
- Triggerable actions, notifications, and reminders to prevent bottlenecks
- Digitized and secured records and document storage so all information stays confidential and compliant
- Accessibility anytime, anywhere—online or offline—to make it easy for all parties involved to get what they need
What are the benefits of using an automated return to work program?
Anyone who has experience with a manual RTW program has probably dreamed of how much easier things such as incident management could be if they were automated. We use automated processes in so many other parts of our lives that it’s only natural to apply them to processes such as leave of absence and return to work.
Determining the best benefit of an automated RTW program depends on who you are in the process. The employee experience is better because it’s faster and doesn’t require mountains of paperwork. For the internal staff members who are responsible for their company’s RTW program, digitization and automation make it easier to comply with RTW laws, mitigating personal and professional risk. Additionally, because the process is streamlined, internal staff can be more productive.
For everyone involved, the improved visibility of individual incident reports and overall cases makes the RTW process smoother and more accurate.
Outsourcing Your RTW is costing you a LOT of money!
Decisions Change, Exceptions Occur
Digitizing Every Aspect of Return to Work
Choosing the Right Automated Solution for Your Return to Work Program
Choosing the right automation solution for your RTW program is crucial. Make sure you select a solution that gives you everything you need.
Pulpstream’s streamlined, digitized forms make multiple manual processes and tasks obsolete by giving you the ability to refine and update processes without time-intensive development work. Our solution’s customizable workflows, dashboards, forms, and communications use our component library and no-code platform. You can collect comprehensive and employee-specific data, store it safely, and analyze all of the data with a 360-degree view in just one click.
Plus, Pulpstream’s built-in notifications, communications, and triggers to keep updates and required actions on track and meeting compliance standards. All of this plus powerful analytics and integration support—right out of the box. No IT intervention required.
It’s Time to Streamline Your Return to Work Program
Save your employees time, create a better experience for everyone, and lock down compliance. With Pulpstream’s solutions, you can finally get rid of your disjointed and inefficient RTW process and make life easier for everyone with digitization and automation.
Our team welcomes the opportunity to show you how we’ve helped many HR administrators by digitizing their leave of absence processes.
Ready to see how Pulpstream could work for you? Schedule a demo and we can show you how to automate your Return to Work process. The best part? We can easily customize any process based on your needs!