RTWN029: Future of RTW – Will Robots Steal Your Job in Return to Work?

Today I speculate  whether robots will put Return To Work Professionals out of a job as automation plays a bigger role in the future of RTW.

The processes I predict are vulnerable to automation include:

  1. How we handle Certificates of Capacity and reimbursement of wages for injured workers
  2. How we prepare RTW Plans and allocate tasks for non-injured workers
  3. Claims management processes
  4. Dispute resolution
  5. Compliance with safety policies and procedures

I’m also pleased to announce I’m speaking at the Personal Injury & Disability Management Conference 2016.

Also discussed in this episode:


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One Comment

  1. Jo Muirhead 9 September 2016 at 10:04 am

    Hey Mark, wow you were brave talking about this subject matter and I wonder if I am the only person who is wanting to scream NOOOOO!!!! I agree wholeheartedly that there are somethings that automation can help with. The example you gave with the way certificates of capacity are currently being used stunned me – that’s just stupid, ( and was happening 20 years ago when I started) and people wonder why RTW is seen as expensive. WOW. I remember being the external provider of choice for a large health service, and for every injured employee I was working with to RTW, I needed to speak to their direct line manager; the department manager and the internal RTW coordinator. That was 3 conversations where 1 conversation should have been sufficient – again unnecessary expense.

    I do think its important to point out that every person is unique. You and I could have exactly the same injury, at the same time to the same body part – yet how we recover is likely to be totally different. So I am very cautious about RTW programs being automated, I think this is a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen this type of process implemented and RTW rates diminish and claims experience skyrocket; moral diminishes and people start believing that their employer doesn’t care.

    This is where I think RTW professionals can really shine, when we have the skills to help injured employees be engaged in their own RTW process rather than dictating to them what will be, then we will see a true reduction in both the direct and indirect costs of a claim. I am all for using the skills of the RTW professional for the engagement and enhancement of Injured employees being engaged and activated in their own return to work therapy. I am also all for the letting go of that totally deskilling useless administration. #workisgood

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