Author(s): Bunn WB rd, Baver RS, Ehni TK, Stowers AD, Taylor DD,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a program to reduce musculoskeletal disability-related absenteeism at a North American manufacturing facility. STUDY DESIGN: Staged communication and educational interventions targeting physicians to improve care of musculoskeletal conditions and reduce related absenteeism. METHODS: The program was implemented in three 1-year stages. The first stage required physicians to complete assessment forms for employees claiming disability because of musculoskeletal injuries. The second stage added physician education programs focusing on current clinical guidelines. The third stage incorporated local physician education about the facility's onsite physical therapy program. Annual number of work-related injuries, days lost per injury and per scheduled full-time-equivalent (FTE) employee, light-duty days per injury, average annual indemnity per FTE, indemnity per injury, medical costs per FTE, and medical costs per injury were examined to determine the program's effectiveness. RESULTS: Overall productivity improved by a mean of 12.5 days per injured employee. Mean days lost per work-related injury decreased from 35.1 to 27.6. Number of light-duty days increased from 6.1 to 11.1 per work-related injury. Mean annual indemnity per work-related injury decreased from $9327 to $4493; mean annual medical costs per work-related injury decreased from $4848 to $2679. The annual incidence of musculoskeletal injuries declined by up to 50\%. CONCLUSIONS: This intervention was associated with reduced musculoskeletal disability-related absenteeism and increased productivity. The program reduced medical costs per work-related injury and improved the company's communications and relationship with local physicians.
This article was published in Am J Manag Care
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy