This case study demonstrates:
- Ramsay Health Care recognises that employees who continue in everyday activities have more positive recovery outcomes.
- By appropriately managing injured workers, and providing support and resources, they can return to work safely and as soon as possible following an injury.
Ramsay Health Care (RHC) operates 117 hospitals and day surgery facilities across Australia, the United Kingdom, France and Indonesia and employs over 25 000 staff across three continents. It is the largest operator of private hospitals in Australia and employs over 5 000 people in Queensland.
RHC believes that being committed to early intervention and return to work is the key to achieving the best possible outcomes for employees and the organisation.
The organisation has a national safety team made up of safety professionals and workers' compensation specialists. The team is responsible for the strategic management of each case and ensures resources to support the early return to work goal are made available. Examples of resources and services include appointments with specialist medical providers, access to professional counselling sessions via RHC's Employee Assistance Program, gym memberships, assistance with transport and access to its Wellness Assist Program.
In Queensland, RHC has a dedicated workers' compensation manager, rehabilitation and return to work coordinators (R&RTWC) and a senior claims officer. They are responsible for overseeing the management and progress of all employees throughout the various phases of the injury process. This ensures injured workers are appropriately managed and provided with the relevant tools and information to get back to work as safely and quickly as possible.
The organisation supports the employee from the onset of the injury; issues of liability are dealt with separately and do not form part of the initial decision to offer support to the employee. It recognises that employees who continue in everyday activities have more positive recovery outcomes and hence RHC encourages an early and safe return to work. RHC strives to return employees to their pre-injury employment position or if this is not possible, accommodate them in another area of the business.
The R&RTWC's are responsible for ensuring ongoing and regular contact with injured employees and to act as a central point to facilitate communication between employees, their managers, doctors and other health professionals, and the workers' compensation team. This creates positive relationships with injured workers as they feel supported during the rehabilitation and return to work process.
All R&RTWC's receive ongoing training through meetings and training sessions on return to work and the importance of incident reporting. RHC has an incident reporting system, which allows injury notification to be recorded and communicated to relevant parties across the state within minutes. The system can notify managers, including members of the national safety team of an incident and provides information in relation to the immediate clinical care that was provided to the employee.
Ramsay Health Care also has an injury management program, the Round Table Injury Management Program. It involves discussions with the hospital executives, injured employees, their managers and the hospital's R&RTW coordinators. This encourages greater participation and understanding of employee issues across the executive level of the business and ensures better outcomes and understanding for all key parties.
RHC also uses an After Hours Injury Management Kit designed specifically for the use of after hours managers. RHC runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is spread over 13 separate locations throughout Queensland. It has a unique challenge to ensure that workers that are injured outside of usual business hours are managed appropriately. The kit contains basic information to make sure injured workers are acknowledged and managed from the onset of their injury and that steps are taken to communicate critical information to key stakeholders efficiently and effectively. As a result of the introduction of the kit, RHC has experienced a significant reduction in workers losing shifts unnecessarily following injuries.
By providing adequate support and resources to injured workers, Ramsay Health Care can achieve the mutual goal of returning its workers to safe and meaningful work as soon as possible following an injury. Their national safety team of dedicated and well trained professionals work towards openly communicating with injured workers. This ensures they stay focused and positive about their return to work goals, which achieves an overall positive result for the organisation and its valued employees.