While on-the-job injuries can be very serious, the majority are minor and include issues like cuts, sprains and strains. These types of injuries might be well-suited to treatment by telemedicine. There is a growing interest in giving workers the option of a brick-and-mortar or telemedicine visit, and some companies are already trying it with good results. Some Georgia workers may already have this opportunity.
When the process starts with a nurse triage, injured patients tend to get more quickly directed to the appropriate physician than they might if they simply went to an emergency room. There are a few potential drawbacks. For example, the worker must have access to a private area. One executive in the restaurant industry reports that workers who speak little English are less comfortable with telemedicine.
Telemedicine remains more common in group health than workers’ compensation, but it can offer a number of potential advantages. It provides easy access to medical assistance for workers wherever they are located, and it can help workers with minor injuries get back to work faster. Medical directors at insurance companies that offer the option say it has been very well-received so far. Many predict that over the next three to five years, telemedicine will become widespread as part of workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation is in place to protect employees and help ensure they get the care they need if they become ill or injured while on the job. People who are injured at work might want to consult an attorney. Compensation can be critical for those who must miss time from work, but in some cases, employees may not realize they are eligible. An attorney could help a client make an initial filing and an appeal if necessary.