Last week I suggested that a simple, plain language orientation guide for injured workers could be a useful tool for both the industry and the people we serve. As part of my initial thoughts, I laid out a few foundational points and asked for any assistance people would like to provide to help make it a more useful document.

I made the call, and I am very pleased to say that a good number of you have responded. It seems that many of us recognize the need for such a document.

I’ve received many good ideas that will help make this an effective offering. One person even took the time to completely re-write my initial thoughts, telling me she got “rid of a lot of the passive voice, longer or unnecessary words or phrases.  Example: ‘now’ instead of ‘at the moment.’  Simplified sentence structure in a couple places.” She also modified it for gender neutrality. Her work took my initial ideas from 846 words to 681; it also made it more fit. The article analyzerrated it “Fit and Trim,” compared to my bloated version rating of “Flabby.”

I’ve always had trouble with that pesky, blubber inducing passive voice. 

I joke, but her editing improved it, especially considering the audience for which it will be intended. Too bad she didn’t wait until the document was done. I suspect my passive voice will not be able to contain itself. Or I won’t be able to contain my passive voice. Whichever.

Other input has ranged from detailed help on various specialty areas, specific editing of the content I presented, and an intriguing offer of cooperative effort with a large regulators committee. 

One of the challenges of this work will be brevity; providing good information in a format that people will take the time to read. Considering the complexity of workers’ compensation, that may be an impossible task. However, as this takes shape I think it can be done properly. I currently envision a basic “overview document” that hyperlinks to more detailed information where appropriate. For example, I’ve received some really good input related to advice regarding the importance of nurse case managers (NCM). Embedding that directly in the document may add numerous paragraphs, which may not be applicable information for those who do not need it. Mentioning NCM’s and then linking to a detailed description would be more useful. This method will allow us to maintain a streamlined orientation while including useful additional detail. 

I appreciate the response that I have received. I will be reaching out this week to most of those who have offered support and advice. I think that together, we have a chance to create something that can make a difference for the injured worker who unexpectedly finds themselves in the maelstrom that is workers’ comp.

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