Most of the time, with proper precautions, employees can avoid a work injury on the job. However, in certain fields or trades, no amount of preparation can prevent an accident.
In fact, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are still roughly 2.8 million injuries experienced per 100 full-time workers in the average organization—a figure that has remained fairly consistent since 2019.
The common goal among employers, however, is to limit the number of injuries that occur in the workplace and keep employees as safe as possible.
Filing a Claim for a Work Injury
When an injury occurs on the job, certain processes must be followed from a legal and an employee care standpoint. One of the earliest steps in this process is filing a Worker’s Compensation claim.
Depending on your insurance company, you may have a medical management program that can assist with claim filings like this. At Central, for example, we offer the Nurse Hotline, which helps policyholders with claims reporting.
In this article, we’ll explore what the Nurse Hotline is, the benefits it offers, and how to navigate the program as an employer and an employee.
What is the Nurse Hotline?
The Nurse Hotline is a modern solution to the first report of a work injury. It provides telephonic nurse triage and a system through which to submit a claim within minutes of an accident. As a result, injured workers can be immediately directed to the appropriate medical facility and receive proper treatment without waiting for paperwork or approvals to be filed.
What are the benefits of using the Nurse Hotline?
Alongside a faster turnaround time, the Nurse Hotline offers Central’s policyholders access to medical advice and care from Registered Nurses (RNs) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This has reduced claim costs, as many injured individuals choose to get treatment at an urgent care rather than emergency room facility.
Having an RN on call to provide custom care recommendations allows for a more appropriate and personalized treatment plan for injured employees. This leads to a faster recovery time and fewer weeks spent out of work.
How do I use the Nurse Hotline program?
When a workplace injury occurs, the injured worker and their supervisor call the designated nurse hotline to report the claim. They are immediately connected to an RN who will direct the injured worker to the appropriate medical facility should additional medical treatment be needed.
The RN will also provide the medical facility with the injured worker’s paperwork as they anticipate the patient’s arrival.
Remember: This service is designed to assist with injuries that are not life, limb, or eyesight threatening. If the employee has a serious injury that requires Emergency Medical Services, call 911 or your local EMS number.
Once the initial injury is addressed, the RNs assist the injured employees with determining a recommended course of action for appropriate ongoing care and ensure the earliest intervention possible for return-to-work initiatives. This professional nurse hotline provides crucial guidance for injured employees on everything from immediate care to ongoing rehabilitation plans.
Keep in Mind: The Nurse Hotline is staffed by experienced, registered nurses. The nurses have additional training to answer calls related specifically to injuries incurred in the workplace.
Who should talk to the nurse?
If possible, the nurse will need to speak directly with the employee who has sustained the injury. As part of the medical triage process, the nurse will ask personal, medically-directed questions, including past medical history, any current medical problems and medications, allergies, and the patient’s perception of their symptoms.
If the injured employee does not want to call the Nurse Hotline, the employer should make the call on their behalf. After all, this is the method used by the employer to report work-related injuries to the Workers’ Compensation administrator.
Remember: A claim can still be reported to a first report of injury customer services representative if the Nurse Hotline is not engaged. The supervisor should provide any information available during that report.
More Fast Facts about the Nurse Hotline
- Wait Times: The call center strives to answer calls in 30 seconds or less. Hold time is a very rare occurrence.
- Languages: English and Spanish are the primary languages spoken by the team of RNs. However, employees speaking other languages can still receive assistance through the use of the language line, which is available 24/7 through the platform.
- Call Time: The average call time is about 18 minutes. Though these nurses are trained to be quick and efficient, their priority is to provide medical assistance to the individual they are caring for, and they will take the time necessary to do so effectively.
- Age of Worker: If the injured employee is a minor, the nurse will ask if a parent or guardian is available to be included in the call. The nurse will continue the triage process if the parent or guardian is unavailable
- Call Back Options: Employees are encouraged to call the nurse if they have additional questions or symptoms. Many times, a patient will have a question after they follow the nurse’s recommendation and/or before the first visit with an approved panel physician. During the triage process, the nurse will ask permission from the employee to call back as necessary and gather appropriate contact information. For all urgent, emergent, and self-care calls where a change in condition is expected, the nurse will also attempt to complete a callback.
- Report of Injury: The nurse will obtain the necessary information to complete an injury report during the triage call. After the call is complete, this injury report will be sent to the dedicated distribution log.
Reporting a work injury as a Central insured
Contacting the Nurse Hotline is the preferred method for an employer and an injured worker to report a workplace injury. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year and can save you valuable time and money when used following a workplace accident.
Contact your independent agent today to see if your Workers’ Compensation policy includes a Nurse Hotline service.
The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.
Note: This article was originally published in August 2020. It has since been updated for accuracy.