Role of health-care providers in the workers’ compensation system and return-to-work process

Reasons for the study

International research has generated strong evidence that health-care providers play an important role in the return-to-work (RTW) process. This research also suggests that health-care providers sometimes struggle with facilitating the return to work of their patients. Pressure on consultation time, administrative challenges and limited knowledge about a patient’s workplace can thwart active engagement. This two-year study focuses on the experiences of health-care providers within the workers’ compensation system and how their role in the RTW process can be enhanced.

Objectives of the study

  • To identify programs, guidelines, forms and policies developed by workers’ compensation boards designed to facilitate the engagement of health-care providers in the RTW process
  • To understand the perceived role of health-care providers in the RTW process, including the challenges they face related to interacting with workers’ compensation boards, injured workers, employers and other health-care providers
  • To find practical ways of facilitating the meaningful engagement of health-care providers in RTW

Anticipated results/impact

The results of this study will be relevant to health-care providers, disability prevention policy-makers, case managers and RTW coordinators. The findings will help identify policies and practices that facilitate health-care provider involvement in RTW.

Related scientific publications

Kosny A, Lifshen M, Tonima S, Yanar B, Russell E, MacEachen E, Neis B, Koehoorn M, Beaton DE, Furlan AD, Cooper J. Role of health-care providers in the workers' compensation system and the return-to-work process: executive summary. Institute for Work & Health; 2016.
Kosny A, Lifshen M, Tonima S, Yanar B, Russell E, MacEachen E, Neis B, Koehoorn M, Beaton DE, Furlan AD, Cooper J. Role of health-care providers in the workers' compensation system and the return-to-work process: final report. Institute for Work & Health; 2016.

Related presentations

Health-care providers and their role in return to work. IWH Speaker Series. February 7, 2017.

Project status

Completed

Research team

Agnieszka Kosny, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Dorcas Beaton, Institute for Work & Health
Andrea Furlan, Institute for Work & Health
Marni Lifshen, Institute for Work & Health
Juliette Cooper, University of Manitoba
Mieke Koehoorn, University of British Columbia
Ellen MacEachen, University of Waterloo
Barbara Neis, Memorial University

Participating organizations

Office of the Employer Adviser (Ontario)
St. Boniface Hospital (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
WorkSafeBC

Funded by

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba