Return to Work: How Absence Can Make the Heart Grow Fonder
Posted Apr 06 2011 8:33am
Return-to-work (RTW) coordination programs are successful in reducing long-term work disability. But they vary a lot from one employer to the next.
What doesn’t vary is why employers undertake them: to save money and boost productivity. And they do save money: 94% of savings coming from reduced medical expenditures, with even a modest effort at coordination .
Coordination is the key–not medical training or medical assessment. Caring, job accommodation, communication and conflict resolution are part of successful RTW coordination. It’s about problem solving much more than diagnosis and treatment.
It’s well known that a brief psychological intervention can reframe a person’s impression of the heart attack they just had, and make it less severe: fonder, in a way.
It’s less well known that functional restoration significantly and consistently reduces sick-leave days, much more than for physical therapy for chronic back pain .