By Thomas Warsop, CEO, One Call
When your company’s mission is to provide injured workers with the support they need to return to work and life, you painstakingly think through all aspects to get them there. From the most common needs such as physical therapy, diagnostics and transportation to more specific solutions such as bio-psychosocial counseling and injury-specific recovery pathways, our focus for the past 30 years has been around best supporting a worker – and the adjuster or case manager – after an injury occurs. We’ve consistently challenged ourselves to create, and refine, our offerings to provide a seamless, end-to-end journey for both.
Initially, COVID-19 tested us to continue providing that seamless journey in the face of physical distancing, fear of the unknown, and deferred care. From virtual offerings already in existence, such as telerehab, to new ways of communicating and coordinating with injured workers, such as text messaging, mobile apps, and advanced portals with robotic assistance, we maneuvered through this trying time by staying on our toes.
One thing has become crystal-clear– our current approach is not enough to meet the end-to-end needs of a post-COVID workforce. Coordinating care no longer means just thinking through what an injured worker needs post-injury. It is time to reimagine where the care journey begins.
In addition to post-injury care coordination, we’ve developed a suite of preventative offerings, with programs such as predictive analytics and post-offer employment testing. Now, we are backing up the starting line even further by expanding safety, injury prevention, and wellness programs to meet the needs of a changed workforce. Here’s how:
Targeting At-Risk Workers with Conditioning & Strengthening Programs
We start by assessing furloughed workers who are most at-risk for injury upon return – those with strenuous, physically demanding jobs. Think construction workers, longshoremen and steel workers, as examples. Our team is developing virtual conditioning and strengthening programs to reacclimatize them to the physical demands of their jobs. Without preparation, there is a greater risk of injury due to weeks, or even months, of being sedentary while on leave. Additionally, we believe these tools can be used for ongoing assessments and training to ensure workers continue to maintain proper posture, use appropriate lifting techniques, and follow designated safety procedures to prevent injuries before they happen.
Ergonomics for a New Era: Work-from-Home
Prior to COVID-19, only 7 percent of the U.S. workforce had the option to regularly work from home.1 The pandemic rapidly forced millions of employees to work remotely, drastically changing the work environment. One survey found that 42 percent of respondents are now working from home.2 Many of these employees will seldom return to a physical workplace. So how do we solve for a workforce who has never worked from home before – a workforce who had to accommodate quickly, using couches for conference calls and dining room tables as desks?
Our team counsels employers about the tools needed to create ergonomically correct workspaces for remote workers. Chair positioning, keyboard and monitor alignment, computer placement and proper support of the body – the details matter. If not properly addressed, these makeshift workspaces can lead to muscle tears, decreased circulation and scar tissue formation, or worse, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. It turns out, mom was right about slouching at the table. We encourage you to access our free ergonomics resources.
Safely Returning Employees to Work
Despite the trend to work from home, many of us will eventually return to a physical place of employment. To help employers navigate safe reentry, our team has developed employee wellness screening, safety assessment, and PPE procurement solutions. We can handle everything from temperature checks at building entrances, to advanced kiosk screening implementation, to turnkey workplace safety and health solutions.
COVID-19 pushed us to look at the meaning of “end-to-end solutions” with fresh eyes. We’re expanding beyond post-injury care coordination to include pre-injury, preventative solutions, thus playing an integral role on behalf of our clients for their customers.
The staggering impacts of COVID-19 are changing everything, and we all need to react now to ensure we can be as productive and safe as possible as the world drifts back toward a new definition of normalcy. We must work together to develop proactive programs to prevent injury and promote wellness to reduce the impact of comorbidities.
As the country continues to reopen, we’re working overtime to refine and implement these solutions quickly. There’s one thing I know for certain – we will be there to help the industry navigate through this muddled landscape. We’re ready for the challenge today and will continue to lead into the future.
About Thomas Warsop
Thomas Warsop leads the incredible team at One Call, helping to ensure injured workers get the care they need, when they need it. His passion for the mission of the company is evident every day. Prior to joining One Call, Tom was the Chairman and CEO of York Risk, a leading third-party administrator, where he focused the company squarely on its mission of reducing risk and getting people and organizations back to health, work and productivity.
Previously, Tom was the CEO of The Warranty Group, the world leader in extended warranties and service contracts for consumer products; Group President of Fiserv, a leader in financial services technology; and President of the Financial Services Industry Group at Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS), a global provider of technology services. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Southern Methodist University where he was a President’s Scholar. He and his wife, Christine, reside in Florida. Their daughter, Elizabeth, is a third-year dental student. Their younger daughter, Samantha, is a fourth-year student at NYU Shanghai.
Tom is a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors and serves on the board of directors of One Call, ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq: ACIW), and Nation Safe Drivers.
About One Call
As the nation’s leader in specialty network management services for the workers’ compensation industry, we place injured workers at the heart of everything we do. We utilize creative and innovative solutions to timely and efficiently connect injured workers with quality provider networks across a multitude of health care services. Our foundation is built on an unwavering commitment to deliver exceptional service and unparalleled clinical expertise to drive outcomes. For more information and the latest news, visit us at onecallcm.com, LinkedIn (One Call) and Twitter (@onecallcm).
One Call is a WorkCompWire ad partner.
This is NOT a paid placement.
1Desilver, D. (2020, March). Working from home was a luxury for the relatively affluent before coronavirus – not any more. Retrieved from We Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/working-from-home-coronavirus-workers-future-of-work/
2Burke, J. (2020, April). As working from home becomes more widespread, many say they don’t want to go back. Retrieved from CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/24/as-working-from-home-becomes-more-widespread-many-say-they-dont-want-to-go-back.html