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How are workers' compensation trends impacting your healthcare organization?

July 6, 2015

New study transforms claims data into risk insights that can help you reduce employee injuries.

Head of Healthcare and Financial Institutions

Chris Taylor is the Head of Healthcare and Financial Institutions in Commercial Insurance for Zurich... About this expert

Doctor checking child

Zurich has just released its Benchmark Study of Hospital Workers’ Compensation Claims, which profiles today’s hospital worker, examines the impact of claim trends, and discusses the types of accidents causing claims and the associated “agent of loss.”

This informative study is a valuable tool in helping to understand current workers’ compensation trends in hospitals. Better yet, it can help you compare your own results with what is occurring in the industry, while raising important questions on risk mitigation. Based on Zurich Claims Data and information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the study provides data on the top 10 accident types, which account for 70% of all workers’ compensation claims and 88% of losses. It also looks at timing of workplace injuries, nature of the injuries and body parts injured.

Snapshot of findings:

  • On average, the older the employee, the more expensive the claim. Is your organization/company prepared for the aging workforce? Are there health initiative programs within your organization to help combat workers' injuries?
  • Strain injuries have the highest number of claims. Does your staff use proper safe lifting and mobility equipment? Are training programs, such as stretch and flex, available to employees?
  • Slip, trip and fall injuries have the highest claims severity. Does your hospital use adequate signage in situations where a slip, trip or fall hazard is present? Is anti-slip technology noticeably integrated in your facility?
  • Patients are involved in nearly 1 in every 4 workers' compensation claims. Are practice drills conducted to help employees manage combative patients? Does your workplace violence prevention program make use of cameras, alarms and other non-traditional components?

Compensation Claims Data Chart

To help hospitals turn these findings into actions, the study offers mitigation solutions to help minimize injuries, including strains, muscular fatigue, workplace violence, and slips,trips and falls. Injuries in hospitals tend to spike during daytime hours. However, Zurich helps to outline productive ways to reduce damages. As workers recover from injuries, there are return-to-work strategies to help reduce time away from work while maintaining productivity.

Despite the industry transformations that are creating new risk exposures for today’s hospitals, the largest expense for any healthcare organization continues to be its workforce. Any time spent understanding claims data, identifying your hospital’s trends and prioritizing risk mitigation strategies may have a positive effect on workers’ compensation loss costs – not to mention your workforce itself.

The information in this publication was compiled from sources believed to be reliable for informational purposes only. All sample policies and procedures herein should serve as a guideline, which you can use to create your own policies and procedures. We trust that you will customize these samples to reflect your own operations and believe that these samples may serve as a helpful platform for this endeavor. Any and all information contained herein is not intended to constitute advice (particularly not legal advice). Accordingly, persons requiring advice should consult independent advisors when developing programs and policies. We do not guarantee the accuracy of this information or any results and further assume no liability in connection with this publication and sample policies and procedures, including any information, methods or safety suggestions contained herein. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any of this information, whether to reflect new information, future developments, events or circumstances or otherwise. Moreover, Zurich reminds you that this cannot be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedure or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. The subject matter of this publication is not tied to any specific insurance product nor will adopting these policies and procedures ensure coverage under any insurance policy.

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