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Archive for June 2013

Job and crisis conception illustration

Risky Business


You don’t need to have a dangerous job to be injured in the workplace.
Commercial fishing is the deadliest job you can catch – with a worker fatality rate that is 26 times the national average. Yet surprisingly, when it comes to on-the-job injuries, commercial fishing doesn’t even crack the top ten. That’s because deadly and dangerous are two entirely different things. Unless you are actually a commercial fisherman, a little hard work really isn’t going to kill you.
Injuries can and do occur in the most unexpected occupations.
There are certain professions where you expect to see a greater percentage of people getting hurt. It is the nature of what they do. Professional athletes, police officers and firefighters are among those that knowingly put themselves in harms way. Their jobs are dangerous… we know it and so do they. However, these professionals are highly trained and take every precaution. They make safety a priority and utilize special protective gear designed to mitigate the risk of injury as much as possible.
In fact, better technology and equipment, combined with and an increase in safety education, has led to an overall decrease in the number of on-the-job injuries for workers in traditionally dangerous fields like roofing and construction. But you can still get hurt anywhere. And there are some jobs that – because they are erroneously perceived as NOT being dangerous – have a disproportionate amount of workplace injuries.
What is the most hazardous job in America? It’s not police officer or firefighter. It’s not metalworker or ambulance driver or even flamethrower. The profession that racks up the most workplace injuries is… wait for it… Pet Store Worker
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a whopping 14% chance that a pet store worker will be injured on the job. Compare that to a 0.8% chance for injury as a commercial fisherman.

Could Fluffy and Rover really be that dangerous? Actually, yes. You don’t need to be a lion tamer to be susceptible to real injury by an animal in the workplace. Pet store workers rack up over 10,000 injuries a year – and these incidents are occurring somewhere between the kitty litter in aisle 6 and the hermit crab display on the end cap.
It may sound unbelievable at first, but working with animals of any size is clearly unpredictable and dangerous. Just take a look at veterinarians, who also boast one of the most dangerous jobs in the country with an injury rate of over 9.4%. This huge percentage exists despite the fact that veterinarians are highly trained and educated on how to handle animals. Pet store workers, on the other hand, have no training in animal behavior or handling.
Prevention is the first line of defense against workers compensation claims. Proper safety instruction and equipment has been proven to help prevent risk – but if a job is not believed to be dangerous, that training and equipment will not always be available.
When injuries inevitably occur, prompt, proper and consistent care is the key to getting injured workers healed, healthy and back to work. Working with a quality ancillary care provider is the best way to help facilitate a speedy recovery. From scheduling appointments to providing transportation services to arranging for in-home nursing care, you want to select an ancillary care provide that can meet all of your needs – and the needs of the claimant – with a single phone call.
We invite you to visit www.ltdamerica.com to learn more about what you should look for in an ancillary care provider and how you can get employees back to work faster.

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Injured tradesman hallucinating

The #1 Way To Get Injured Workers Back On the Job

What is the fastest and most reliable way to get injured workers back on their feet and back to work as quickly as possible?

Consistency of Care.  Following the prescribed treatment schedule without interruption is essential to getting injured employees well and back to work quickly. 

Employers know that consistency of care is important – but knowing how to provide the required level of consistent treatment is a different story.  No matter how good intentions may be, interruption of treatment, missed appointments and misunderstandings all cause delays.  And delays don’t only mean a slower recovery time – they also cost everyone involved more money.

So how do companies ensure consistency of care?  Partnering with an ancillary care provider that is committed to consistency of care is the first step.  A quality provider will have programs in place not only to provide the necessary services – but to make sure they are provided with consistency.  And it is that consistency of care that gets workers compensation claimants back to work faster.

When looking to see how committed to consistency a company is– here are some things to keep in mind:

Missed Appointments.  Missed doctor and therapy appointments can bring the recovery process to a standstill.  Injured workers too often report missing appointments because they were unsure of the time, the driver was late or they didn’t know they had an appointment.

To make sure you are working with an ancillary care partner that has policies in place to make sure appointments aren’t missed, look for the following:

Appointments should be confirmed with the physician prior

the claimant being picked up.

Appointments should be confirmed and reconfirmed with the claimant by phone – 48 hours before, 24 hours before, and again 2 hours before.

Appointments should be confirmed with claimants in their primary language – to make sure they understand where and when they need to be someplace.

Reliable, on-time drivers.  You can’t get consistent care if you can’t get where you need to be when you need to be there.  It is all about being on time.  Drivers need to 2 arrive on time.  Pickups and Drop offs need to be completed on time.  Because on time saves money.  Here’s what happens when drivers aren’t on time…

Late Driver = missed appointments.

Missed appointments = more time lost.

More time lost = more money lost.

Insist on a company that has a network of knowledgeable drivers that know where they are going and can identify alternate routes if necessary.  Traffic?  Flat Tire?  Construction?  There should be procedures in place to handle these unforeseen events.

And speaking of drivers – make sure that in addition to being on time, you are dealing with drivers that are licensed and insured.  And more than that, they should be friendly, properly dressed and maintain a clean vehicle.  No injured worker should ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any time.

Translation Services.   Not all claimants understand the English language well enough to follow the medical instructions given to them.  And if they cannot understand… they cannot comply.

Claimants who do not have a sufficient understanding of the English are prone to taking the wrong dosage of medication with potentially devastating effects.  They are also less likely to complete the necessary physical and occupational therapies because they are unclear about what they are expected to do.  Translation services should be made available to every claimant in every language.

Translation services are not for convenience – they are about the health and safety of the worker.    By receiving their doctor’s instructions and prescription dosages into their own language, injured workers are able to better understand their situation, ask questions, seek treatment and do what is necessary to get back to work.

Customer Service:  When dealing with such a broad range of medical needs and services, questions are bound to arise.  And you want to know you have somewhere to go to get the answers to any and every question you may have.

Consistency means getting answers fast.   Don’t let customer service cause more problems than it solves because you are sitting on hold when you should be talking to a person. True customer service means someone is on the other end of the line offering alternate solutions in real time.

 

Consistency is the Silver Bullet.  When it comes to closing workers compensation claims, Consistency = Closure. So look not only for the services you need – but also for the consistency in which they are provided.  Consistency is more than just knowing what to expect next.  Consistency is about getting back injured workers better and back to work.

 

 

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Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

According to a 2010 Census report, nearly 20% of people over the age of 5 in the United States speak a language other than English as their primary language.  That is 55.4 million people who speak 381 different languages!

In the labor force, the percentages are even higher.  According to a 2011 study by the Migration Policy Institute, more then 35% of the labor force speaks a language other than English. Employers are often able to communicate with these workers about their job responsibilities without ever really speaking the same language.  But what happens when these same employees become injured or sick?  Is there anyone with the medical vocabulary and understanding necessary to allow them to communicate with workers who are scared and hurt in a language that they understand?

For some people, not being able to fully understand English is inconvenient.  Maybe they have trouble following the plot of a movie or ordering in a restaurant.  But for someone who is seriously injured, not being able to understand the language could very well be a matter of life and death.  This is not a question of diversity –this is a question of health and safety.

When a worker is injured, they meet with doctors and insurance adjusters who set forth a plan for their care and rehabilitation.  But if an injured worker does not fully understand what is being said to them, how can they participate in their treatment and recovery?  How do they ask questions and follow instructions?

This type of misunderstanding can be scary and frustrating for everyone involved.  But the greatest risk of this language barrier becomes apparent when you consider the dangers associated with the dispensing and consumption of prescription drugs.  If a patient cannot understand the dosage limitations, potentially fatal drug interactions or allergy warnings on a prescription bottle – the results can be catastrophic.  Employers need to be 100% sure that their injured workers have a full understanding of what medications they are taking and how they should be taking them.

That is where ancillary care comes in.  Ancillary care providers are there to facilitate the recovery process for individuals who are being treated as the result of a workplace injury.  And one of the primary services that a quality ancillary care provider offers is translation. People cannot get better if they cannot understand.  Proper translation is critical to employees getting better faster.  So before you contract with an ancillary care provider, find out how they communicate with injured workers who do not speak English.  Will they answer questions in their native language?  Or only translate written documents?  Are appointments made and confirmed in the worker’s language?  Do they offer interpretation services as well as translation? Will they take the time required to make sure injured workers fully understand what is being said to them so they know what they need to do to get well?

Working with an ancillary care provider that can communicate in a workers native language is critical to an injured worker recovering quickly and safely.  With proper translation services, an injured worker can actively participate in their treatment, medical appointments can be made and confirmed, transportation can be scheduled and medications can be administered correctly.

When all the parties involved understand what is being said – things go smoothly. Recovery stays on schedule and people get well and back to work sooner.

LTD America is committed to educating companies about what to look for in an ancillary care provider.  And we know.  We provide ancillary care services in 381 languages across 50 states to thousands of people annually.  So if you want to know more about what to look for in an ancillary care provider, go to www.ltdamerica.com to learn more.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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People helping people

People Helping People

We have all been there. Stuck in “phone jail” Pressing one to reach a customer service representative, pressing two to enter your account number so “we may better help you” , pressing zero to speak to an operator – but instead getting yet another recording with yet another series of options.

Real time problems require real people to answer them.

No one has the time or patience to sit on hold or press 7 for further options when they are literally trying to get from point A to point B. And if you are in a business that involves transportation of sick or injured people – this is especially important to be aware of. Anyone who deals with workers compensation claims will tell you that no voice recording can effectively monitor and communicate to physicians, patients and drivers about last minute appointment or transportation issues. When questions or problems arise at the last minute –there is no time to wait on hold. Real people can respond quickly, manage delays, find alternate routes and help people who are hurt get the treatment that they need.

Save everyone the frustration. If you work in the workers compensation industry and need a provider to transport sick or injured workers, make sure you choose a provider that has people there to answer your calls, respond to any issues that arise, and make the experience as easy and positive as possible for you and your claimants.

Before considering working with a company that uses an automated system, look at the statistics:

67% of people prefer a live customer service representative
83% of people will stop doing business with a company after a poor automated voice response system
70% of people will share a poor voice response system experience system with a friend.
(http://www.interactions.net/news-items/research-reveals-consequences-of-companies-poor-automated-phone-systems/)

Despite all the money spent and improvements made in interactive voice response system technology – the truth is that people prefer speaking to other people. Knowledgeable people who can help them and offer solutions. In the workers compensation industry – and in every industry.

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