Encinitas, CA -(BusinessWire)- Subscribers to Official Disability Guidelines on the Web now have access to a new online tool that generates a return-to-work prescription that treating doctors or case managers can give to injured workers and share with the patient’s employer and others.
The ODG RTW Prescription™ app lets ODG users start the return to work process with evidence on durations and functional restrictions and put that information in the hands of health care professionals, patients, and employers and insurers. It is an interactive application that automatically creates a work activity and functional abilities form based on the latest evidence based information. For treating doctors, it empowers them to provide the best evidence when they give return to work advice to patients, with a minimum commitment of their time. For employers, it is the scientifically based foundation for an employee’s safe and early return to work, eliminating the cost of medical evaluation reports, and the unnecessary costs of indemnity benefits and lost productivity incurred while waiting for clarification of RTW information. The ODG RTW Prescription brings scientifically based evidence to the RTW process. A PDF document is created from the electronic version for use by all stakeholders, serving as a communications tool and creating shared expectations.
The current 2012 release of the ODG product line (including the 17th edition of Official Disability Guidelines and 10th edition of ODG Treatment in Workers Comp) provides the most up-to-date evidence-based medical treatment and disability duration guidelines to improve as well as benchmark outcomes in workers’ compensation and non-occupational disability. ODG 2012 is based on an aggregate of over 10 million cases, including CDC and OSHA, referred to as the “most direct form of evidence that can be offered in court” under the Federal Rules of Evidence, plus over 2 million medical records from actual workers’ compensation and disability claims.
For the ODG RTW Prescription, the ODG Return-To-Work “Best Practice” Guidelines are used because they are most appropriate for prospective management of disability and return to work. For retrospective benchmarking of disability duration, ODG also has Return-To-Work Summary Guidelines.
According to Trang Nguyen, MD, PhD, author of “Nonspecific Low Back Pain and Return to Work” in the Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians, “Returning to work can be an important part of a patient’s recovery from injury or illness. It should be remembered that duration off work is the single most important predictor of failure to return to work.”