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The Return to Work process starts with the first visit to the health care provider.
As a health care provider, you are essential in caring for injured workers. Returning to work is an important aspect of a worker’s recovery and rehabilitation, as it assists with healing, social, and psychosocial well-being.
- Diagnose and treat the illness or injury. Make recommended referrals.
- Submit completed First Medical Report to WSCC within three days of treating the worker. Provide the worker with a copy of the Functional Abilities form.
- Provide the worker with continued medical advice and support.
- Communicate the worker’s capabilities with the worker and the employer. This includes providing updated functional abilities and prognosis information to the WSCC, worker, and employer. (WSCC has numerous reporting forms to assist with providing the required information.)
- Communicate appropriate medical advice and information to the worker, employer, and the WSCC.
- Work closely with other health care professionals to facilitate the worker’s recovery, and safe and timely return to their pre-injury job, or modified duties.
WSCC is able to expedite medical referrals. Ensure that recommendations for investigations, specialist appointments, rehabilitation programs etc. are communicated in the medical reports.
Updated information on medical limitations or restrictions and functional abilities should be provided to the WSCC and the worker. In turn, this information will be provided to the employer.
Sharing this information allows the employer to identify if appropriate work is available for the worker throughout their recovery. The onus is then on the employer to identify work within the limitations, restrictions, or functional abilities that the healthcare provider has specified.
Key definitions for completing medical forms:
- Impairment - The loss of structure or function, physically or mentally, because of illness or injury.
- Limitation - An activity that the worker would be unable to perform because of an impairment.
- Restriction - An activity that you would not allow the worker to perform due to an unacceptable risk because of an impairment. The risk could be to the worker or to others.
If you have questions about your role in the Return to Work process, contact our Return to Work Specialist via email, or by phone at 1-800-661-0792.
RTW Process for Health Care Providers
As the health care provider, attend to the injured worker and complete the First Medical Report (includes functional abilities form).
Provide the worker with a copy of the functional abilities form. This helps their employer assess whether or not there are suitable modified work options.
Provide the WSCC with a copy of both the First Medical Report and the Functional Abilities form.
Provide recommended diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation programs for the worker’s recovery.