Incidents happen, even to the best companies and employees. It’s how we, first, try to prevent injuries from happening and then afterwards manage them that really matters. In every incident, there are so many different stages, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget what the end goal is: to ensure the employee is okay and understand what proactive approaches should be used to prevent the same or a similar incident from happening in the future.
After every incident, there are certain responsibilities every employer and employee has. Knowing these is the key to successful case management. Let’s go over these one-by-one.
Right away, an employer’s role is to get all team members in the right mindset, letting them know they won’t get in trouble for reporting an incident. The company’s goal is to keep all employees safe and to help the employee heal if an incident were to occur. Ideally, setting these expectations will help ensure an employee feels comfortable reporting an incident and will do so in a timely manner.
Once an incident occurs, it is the case manager’s duty to find the root cause and collect as many facts as possible. The goal is to find the root cause of the incident so action items can be taken to prevent the same incident from happening in the future.
The case manager also has to act as somewhat of a liaison between the injured employee and the doctor. Going to the initial and all follow-up doctor’s appointments can help confirm correct information is being relayed between parties. Between appointments, a case manager should regularly check-in on the employee to verify they are doing the exercises and preventative, at-home care as prescribed by the doctor. Checking in on the injured employee confirms to them that you care and want them to recover as soon as possible.
An employee’s first responsibility when it comes to an incident is to simply let their employer know. The employer cannot assist if they do not know. In addition, continuing work with an injury could increase damage and decrease the possibility for repair later. It is also vital that the employee go to their employer’s designated medical office. If an employee goes to their own doctor unaccompanied, it could decrease assistance the employer can provide.
Training both management and employees on how to properly handle an injury is the key to successful case management.
As an employee, it is important to assess the situation correctly and only accept the care or instruction that is absolutely necessary. If days off work are required, practice all exercises and preventative actions required by the doctor. Doing so can help decrease the amount of time the injury lasts and get the employee back to work sooner. It is an employee’s moral duty to not take more days off than necessary.
Conclusion: Key Takeaways
Training both management and employees on how to properly handle an injury is the key to successful case management. Both sides should not fear asking questions, whether it’s to get the entire story of what happened or ask what steps come next. If everyone has the same mindset and goals going in and throughout the process, you will always have a successful case management system.