Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance provided by employers to their employees. With this insurance, workers can file a claim when they suffer injuries from accidents in the workplace or while doing tasks related to their work. Workers’ compensation covers medical bills and wage replacement for employees who will no longer be able to work because of the injuries they’ve sustained. Although the intentions of this insurance are good, there are still a few issues that need to be addressed; this is where technology comes into play in improving workers’ comp.
When filing for a workers’ compensation claim, one of the most important things that an employee must remember is that they need to submit a report immediately after a workplace accident. However, there are times when an injured worker does not know how to file a report correctly. Questions about how, where, and to whom should they send the report come up often. Some companies provide their employees with printed forms that they need to fill out, however, another set of issue crops out of this solution. Illegible handwriting can be a problem, and the form could get lost in the shuffle of documents that goes through the office. One way that technology can help with this is by automating forms.
Automated forms are easy to use and more efficient. Employees may be able to complete the form in a matter of minutes, and the information that they need to supply will already be inside the form, so there’s no struggle thinking which information is pertinent to their situation. Automated forms can also be sent to the people handling workers’ compensation claims within the company, eliminating the risk of the document getting lost before it gets to the right people.
Another way that technology could help injured workers is through telemedicine. Telemedicine is the diagnosis and treatment of patients using telecommunication technology. Because telemedicine uses technology like cell phones or video calls, the diagnosis and treatment can be done remotely. What does this mean for injured employees? Telemedicine has a two-pronged benefit for employees. First, it is more convenient since they can do a consultation without having to leave the office or their home. Second, they can get help immediately as a medical professional is on call 24/7. These medical professionals will conduct an exam, and the next course of action will depend on their findings; they will either send the patient to an accredited medical care facility for emergencies or schedule an appointment with a suitable medical care provider. Medical reports from telemedicine personnel are also immediately available to claims adjusters, making the process of filing a claim faster.
Telemedicine doesn’t just help employees; it is also beneficial for employers. Because of the prompt diagnosis and treatment, the severity of the injuries suffered by a worker doesn’t worsen, this results to lower claim costs and will enable the employee to come back to work earlier. Telemedicine also helps employers make their employees feel that they are well taken care of because of the 24/7 medical service available to them.
Technology can also help employers communicate information to their employees faster and more efficiently. Updates about workers’ compensation claims or reading materials for preventing injuries can be sent directly to an employee’s phone without having to go through a complicated system.
Wearable technology has been making strides as well and can now be incorporated into the workplace to help prevent injuries from happening. Wearable sensors incorporated into work vests that can “talk” to machinery can help lower the risk of being hurt. These sensors can send signals to the machine when a human is too close or send a message to the engine to turn off.
Injured in a workplace accident? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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