There is a webinar later today, being produced by The Transitions, that will be focused on “Reimagining the Communication Model” that we use in the workers’ compensation industry. I am pleased to be one of the speakers, along with Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, Greg Hamlin, and Todd Thams. It will be moderated by Dr. Claire Muselman. It will be at 2:00 PM Eastern, and you may register for it here.
I was intrigued by the topic, as communication in the workers’ compensation industry has been a hot-button issue for me. That is probably because we generally don’t. We speak in acronyms, using vernacular that is foreign to most of the people that we are intended to serve. We often do not explain processes and make assumptions that everyone will automatically understand our procedures and standards. It is a very expensive mistake, and greatly hurts the outcomes we would like to achieve.
We must remember that, in the absence of clear and open information, cancerous thoughts will grow. By that reckoning, the communication standards of the workers’ compensation industry should be declared a known carcinogen. The injured worker, left to their own devices with limited information about the process they are now central to, can allow negative thoughts to both derail the healing process and start expensive litigation. Both of those outcomes can be avoided if we can learn to speak in a voice that is informative, clear, and compassionate. And it must be a voice that speaks in a language the injured worker can understand.
But proper communication is not limited to the realm of injured workers. Sometimes our efforts are hampered because as an industry we don’t communicate clearly with each other. We don’t assure the employer is in the loop, or that they understand how their actions can play into improving outcomes. Communication is key throughout the process, and it is the one thing to which we as an industry singularly fail at the most.
And frankly, we should talk about that.
The webinar today is designed to get us thinking about improving workers’ comp by simply changing the way we relate critical information. Sometimes our biggest problems can benefit from the smallest of solutions. Understanding how we communicate and the perceptions others have is not a difficult task. Improving the way we communicate is central to addressing a myriad of issues in the industry. I encourage you to attend. It will be an informative hour; one that, hopefully, will be clearly communicated and easy to understand….