Worker’s Compensation Outcomes: Communication Makes the Difference

What makes the difference between a workers’ compensation injury moving in the right direction, and one ending up in litigation?

Sure, there will be those employees who from day 1 want to turn the incident into a windfall, or they want some paid time-off. But that is not the norm. Most employees are hurt and want to be cared for with quality medical care, an experienced physician, and a level of compassion. No matter how careful, employees still get hurt, and very likely, if they say it happened at work – they are being truthful.

The question then becomes, what is the best plan of action to take following a workplace injury and the ensuing workers compensation claim? Typically, the case moves in a positive direction when the employer already has a relationship with an Occupational Medical provider, and where clear and consistent communication has already been established.

Timely communication between all parties is key to ensuring that a workplace injury is dealt with efficiently and effectively with the focus on a safe and rapid return to work for the employee. All stakeholders – including the patient, employer, supervisor, care management team and physician must communicate as soon as the injury occurs. An injured worker may have little experience with workers compensation, and need to be reassured from the get-go that the system works and he/she will given what they need to feel better.  

At times, overlooked in the process, is the communication with the physician regarding the role they play beyond the treatment of an injury. The Occ-Med doctor who has strong communication with the employer will better understand the company’s workplace and the physical demands of their jobs.

A provider with whom a company has established a strong relationship and consistent communications can and will:

  • Evaluate whether an injury is or is not work-related
  • Better determine contributing factors versus pre-existing condition
  • Minimize time away from work by understanding the job descriptions and accommodations available.
  • Explain the treatment plan and expectations regarding recovery
  • Facilitate a quick and safe return to work for the employee
  • Offer recommendations to minimize the risk of future injuries

At Physicians Health Center, communication is key in dealing with injured employees and their employers. That consistent communication, with hundreds of employers, enables Physicians Health Center to consistently produce quality outcomes with minimal time away from work. Physicians Health Center takes on the responsibility of knowing the workplace and the job the employee is returning to.

In addition to being readily available by phone or email, Physicians Health Center also has a dedicated, secured, portal on its website ( This keeps the insurance carrier and employer apprised of the patient’s progress.

Physicians Health Center’s is an Occupational Medicine Practice with over 30 years’ experience in treating workplace injuries through the workers compensation process. We are committed to working with employers, adjustors, and case managers in providing top quality treatment and care facilitating a safe and quick return to work for employees. Doctors and staff at PHC aim to create an uplifting, pleasant experience for those who have gone through a painful workplace injury. Dr. Susan Nelson, Medical Director: “It is our goal to help patients return to work feeling safe and satisfied with the care and communication they received.”